Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back-to-school and the exotic germs it brings

Okay, so maybe we don't get exotic illnesses here in Canada. However, I got an email today from my daughters' nursery school informing us that one of the children has Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Now, I have heard of this virus, really only in passing. I have never seen a child with it or have had it myself. So for me, it is exotic.

When I was in school the only illness that freaked me out wasn't even an illness. It was lice. I had it when I was six and still remember staying up all night having the nits picked out of my hair. I know my mom was traumatized by this as she never let us share any clothes, hair things, pillows etc. again. During Ainsley's first year at nursery school there was an outbreak of panic at the thought of lice in our home. Luckily we avoided it.

Today's email sent that same panic coursing through me. And this time I had no past experience to draw upon. I turned to my parent friends to ask what to look for, how sick my poor kids could get and treatment information. It turns out, this virus is really only exotic to me. Turns out it is fairly common in nursery schools and since it is extremely contagious, small epidemics will break out in classrooms.

So right now I am on the look out for the symptoms of HFMD and am watching my girls a lot more closely than I usually do. If they do get it, I hope it's mild and quick and that the bounce back quickly.