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Contagious Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease leaves parents worried as school go offline

The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a mild, yet highly contagious viral infection; common in young children and has been around for many years. It causes sores on the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.

As schools have finally started offline after two years, there are several young parents whose children are going to school for the first time. (File)

As schools have reopened in completely offline mode, there is a new worry among parents of toddlers from pre-schools. It is the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. While some schools have also issued advisories for parents, there is anxiety among young parents, especially while coming out of a pandemic.

The Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a mild, yet highly contagious viral infection; common in young children and has been around for many years. It causes sores on the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.

Fever, sore throat, runny nose, mouth ulcers, and loss of appetite are a few symptoms of this disease that is common among children of five years of age and below. Once a child is infected, it can cause an outbreak in any preschool that he/she is attending, due to its contagious nature.

The Early Childhood Association (ECA), which is a nationwide community of schools and educationists from the sector of education focusing on the early years of education, has been creating awareness about the disease for some time now.

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Among several directives explained by the ECA in the past regarding the disease, an important clause is to be vigilant and not to hide the infection as pre-schools can become a centre for its spread.

President of the ECA Swati Popat Vats, said, “It is not worrisome but highly contagious and thus it is very important for schools and parents both, to not hide if any child is showing its symptoms. Alertness by parents is most important by not sending the child to school if any of the symptoms is present. School too should avoid certain activities such as water or sand play, which tend to irritate a child’s skin.”

As schools have finally started offline after two years, there are several young parents whose children are going to school for the first time. In this scenario, the highly contagious disease has become a cause of worry among parents, especially when some city schools are issuing directives regarding this.

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“Parents are bound to get worried after advisories by schools regarding the disease, in some cases even informing them about the possible infection on campus,” shared a pre-school teacher, adding that parents need not worry as prevention is the best strategy.

First published on: 18-04-2022 at 03:02 IST
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