Since our kid joined infantcare when she was 3 months old, HFMD has been the top most worry on our minds. And she has finally succumbed to it. It has been a horrible experience thus far. Our kid is one that still runs around when she’s sick, and usually weathers illnesses well. This is the first time we see her crying so miserably. She could not eat and could not drink, and pukes out panadol or ibuprofen syrup. This is our experience, if it helps any first time parents…
Day 1: Thursday
Midnight: Fever as high as 39.4 degrees celsius. Parents brought Baby E to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital A&E but they could not do anything other than using suppository after she puked the panadol syrup out. Doctors advised to send her to KK if fever doesn’t subside after 5 days. [Lesson learnt: Always send the kid to either NUH or KKH A&E because these are the hospitals with pds.]
Fever continues. Kid was drowsy from afternoon onwards. We managed to feed her ice cream and slipped in panadol syrup to bring the fever down in the afternoon. At night, she wised up to our scheme and rejected the panadol-spiked ice cream so we had to use suppository. It broke my heart to see her sobbing so pitifully and I nearly cried after inserting the suppository. It felt like I inflicted more pain on her despite the fact that it was meant to bring her fever down.
Ulcers started appearing and the kid started to reject food. She was still willing to drink chilled honey water.
Day 2: Friday
Fever continues but it was a low-grade fever. We brought her to the doctor where he certified it as HFMD. School was informed. Kid rejected food the entire day. We went through a whole cycle of preparing all sorts of soft food that we think she might eat and ended up tossing everything. She was still willing to drink chilled honey water and eat ice cream (though she insisted on scooping it out herself so that it won’t be spiked with meds).
More ulcers appeared. Kid talks with a bit of slur likely because of the ulcers.
Day 3: Saturday
No more fever. Kid continues to reject food. We gave up trying to cook. In the afternoon she took bread about the size of a teaspoon. In the evening she took a tablespoon worth of hor fun and half a mushroom. At night she was rejecting even honey water and cried incessantly.
Day 4: Sunday
And we’re here at Day 4. She ate half a muffin in the morning so it seems like the ulcers are better. I’m having an insane headache and my palms hurt so I’m worried I may have caught the illness from her.
Anyway, these are some of the good to knows about the disease for parents who want to know:
Symptoms: Fever for 2 to 3 days, rashes on hands, feet, ulcers in mouth.. usually located at the back of the throat and sides of tongue. [Lesson learnt: Tiny spots on her feet and hands count as rashes. I was expecting to see angry rashes but they’re more like tiny spots]
Incubation period: 3 to 7 days before symptoms start appearing (which terrifies me, because it means that that normal kid your kid just shook hands with might have HFMD), but contagious even before symptoms appear.
Food that the kid rejected: Citrus fruits, hot/warm food, solid food, milk (my friend’s kid accepted this so different kid varies)
Food that the kid took: Ice cream, chilled honey water, ipoh horfun sort of noodles
How the illness spreads: HFMD is highly contagious. Spreads via bodily fluids.. so wash your hands thoroughly after handling ur kid’s saliva, pee, poop. Do not share food! No wet sloppy kisses from the kid for the time being! Pls keep your child out of childcare so that we can all keep our children safe.
When to go to the hospital: If the kid appears very drowsy and less active than usual, if the kid is very dehydrated, or skin looks bluish.
Cure: Unfortunately there’s no cure. It’ll run its course. Friend advised watermelon frost for ulcers and calamine lotion for the blisters on hands.
Wish us luck. It’s been hell thus far =(