Hand Foot and Mouth

Hand, foot and mouth is very contagious and easily spread and is common in children under ten

Exclusion period

Children are most contagious within the first 5 days of symptoms appearing and must not attend Nursery during this time. If after 5 days all the blisters have not healed, children may be able to attend Nursery as the most infectious period has passed – the decision on attendance lies with the Nursery Manager on Duty.

It is possible to catch the disease more than once but children are unlikely to catch it again during the same outbreak.

Generally, the disease is mild and short-lasting and will clear after about 7-10 days.


Symptoms start appearing three to five days after infection and last for seven to ten days. First symptoms will include fever, loss of appetite, sore throat or small red spot in the mouth, throat and skin.

After one or two days, red spots in the mouth will develop into painful ulcers, particularly around the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks. It may be difficult to eat, drink or swallow.

Any red spots on the skin will turn into a non-itchy rash over the next two days. The spots are flat or raised and will develop on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and between the fingers and toes.

Read more about this illness at the NHS website.