Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Popping Up in Sioux Empire

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- A highly contagious and common children’s disease is starting to appear around the Sioux Empire, but doctors say there is a way for parents to reduce the risk of their child getting hand, foot, and mouth disease.

It’s not pretty and it’s not fun. Sores and rashes around kids’ mouths and feet. Hand, foot and mouth disease is something that’s common in younger children especially in places like daycares and schools. It’s something the Sprouting Ivy Academy is very familiar with.

“We usually get it about once a year, maybe twice a year. Yeah it’s not a very fun thing to get,” says Owner of Sprouting Ivy Academy, Angie Nearman.

The daycare can even predict when they’ll see it pop up usually when the seasons change.

“So we know it’s coming whenever it goes from hot to cold or cold to hot,” says Nearman.

Doctors say the virus is spread by contact from one person to another. Along with sores and rashes, other symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, and sore throat. There are easy ways to keep your child from getting sick.

“Avoiding sharing utensils and cups and also making sure you are doing excellent hand washing,” says Sanford Pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Haggar.

The daycare says they disinfect the facility every day, but once in a while viruses sneak in.

“Once we have something that we know is in the building, then we even go a step further and just kind of deep clean everything,” says Nearman.

Although the disease does cause discomfort, doctors say it’s only short term.

“Because hand, foot, and mouth is caused by a virus there really is no specific treatment that makes it better,” says Haggar. “It’s kind of one of those illnesses that has to run its course,”

Doctors also say once children get it they build a tougher immune system.

“Typically if you have had it once, your likelihood of getting it again is actually a lot less,” says Haggar. “So you can develop immunity to it,”

Once the virus is in the child’s system, it takes about a week for the sores and rashes to go away. So doctors say parents shouldn’t stress too much.

“This is a super common illness that we have been seeing for a long time and we will probably continue to see for a long time,” says Haggar.

Doctors say the best thing parents can do when their child is sick is to keep them home until they are better.

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