Is it common for a 2 1/2-year-old to get hand-foot-and-mouth disease twice in a row?
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (not "hoof and mouth" or "foot and mouth," which is an infection cows and horses can suffer) is caused by a couple of different viruses. It's most common in toddler
s and preschoolers, less common in older children, and rare in adults. There may be a slight fever or none at all. Small, oval red spots that turn into grayish blister-like spots form on the hands and feet and sometimes on the buttocks and legs. Sores can also develop in the mouth.
Although the body lesions are painless, those in the mouth can hurt like canker sores. A child who develops mouth sores may be reluctant to drink, and dehydration can sometimes occur. It is important to encourage fluids, even if a child does not want food. Sometimes cold liquids such as frozen fruit pops are better tolerated because they numb the mouth a little.
It would be unusual for your child to come down with this twice, especially in such a short timealthough nothing is impossible. Perhaps the second round was caused by some other virus. He should recover with no further problems.
Children with this infection can remain in day care if they feel well, since it is such a benign illness.