Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This post is based on my personal experiences.
My twin toddlers started half day child care at 15 months. Since then, they have become sick at least once a month. Yes, my twins’ vaccines are all up to date, and we maintain a reasonable level of hygiene by washing hands regularly, but this has not prevented us from continuous challenges with common childhood pathogens.
Here are some anecdotes and tips based on our experiences so far.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)
Interestingly, my twins contracted HFMD around 9 months–before starting child care. I suspect they came in contact with contaminated high chairs at a cafe.
My little girl first developed small, red spots on her knees, which I thought were an allergic reaction to the new floor cleaner we were using. She quickly developed the same spots on her hands, and her pediatrician confirmed that she had HFMD. Her brother caught it as well, and so did I. We experienced a mild case of HFMD, but the mouth ulcers were rather painful.
- I instructed my husband and helper to wash their hands thoroughly after changing diapers. HFMD can be transmitted through contaminated stool.
- Eating and swallowing can be painful, so offer frozen breast milk or fruit juice to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid sharing food or utensils as soon as possible. I contracted HFMD from eating my children’s leftover food.