From the occasional runny nose to a random belly ache, as a parent of a child in daycare, you are accustomed to your toddler being exposed to several bugs. However, there are other illnesses that, while still common in daycares throughout America, feature more alarming symptoms that may have you reconsidering keeping your toddler at home. Here is valuable information about two common illnesses your child might encounter in daycare:

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

You may have heard your daycare provider mention the term "hand-foot-and-mouth disease" but aren't quite sure what it is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease is a member of the Enterovirus group and is spread through salvia, mucus, discharge from blisters and fecal matter.

For example, if one of the kids in your toddler's playgroup has hand-foot-and-mouth disease and plays with a toy and your toddler picks it up and then touches their nose or mouth, they could become infected.

Symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Irritating, painful blisters on the tongue or inside the cheek
  • A rash that isn't itchy and found on the palm and soles of the feet
  • Crankiness and loss of appetite

Typically, your child will develop a fever first. According to the Mayo Clinic, the sores on the cheeks or mouth will begin to appear two or three days later. Finally, the rash on the soles and palms will begin to develop within days of the sores.

If your child begins to exhibit any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your pediatrician and daycare, immediately. Thankfully, your child typically won't require any further intervention, unless they are having trouble eating or drinking because of the sores in their mouth.

The symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease usually go away within a few days. It is important your child's fever is completely gone and they free of any other symptoms before allowing them to head back to daycare.

Encouraging your child to wash their hands and avoid sharing food or drinks is the best way to prevent the spread of the illness.


Impetigo is another common illness that can be found in daycares. According to Kids Health, impetigo is typically caused by either the Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. It is highly contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.

The most common symptom of impetigo is red, irritated sores that form around the nose and mouth. Typically, the sores will burst within a few days and will form a brown or reddish crust. The sores can also spread to your toddler's chest, hands and other parts of the face. The sores can be very itchy and irritating.

Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms of impetigo. Your doctor might prescribe a topical antibiotic to treat the sores and any irritation. The antibiotics will also cut down the time your child is contagious for.

Depending on the bacteria that cause the impetigo and the severity of the illness, your child will only have symptoms for a few days. According to the Mayo Clinic, your child is typically no longer contagious 24 to 48 hours after they began a course of antibiotics. However, even if your child is no longer contagious, your daycare or pediatrician might recommend you not send your child back to daycare until the symptoms are completely gone.

Both hand-foot-and-mouth disease and impetigo might seem scary, but in most cases, they are not dangerous, and your toddler will recover very quickly. It is important to learn about the symptoms and signs of both illnesses and to understand your daycare's policy concerning both illnesses, especially when it is okay for your toddler to rejoin the group.

For more information about recognizing and dealing with common daycare illnesses and diseases, you may want to talk to an experienced pediatrician from a clinic like Entira Family Clinics