Toddler Quarantine

Last Sunday, Nellie started running a fever of about 102. She was burning up all night and into the morning, so Josh stayed home with her. We kept her out of school on Tuesday as well and that evening, I noticed that she had developed some sort of rash on her arms.

And her legs.

And her back.

And her face.

You get the point. It was everywhere. Most of it was little, red bumps but a few were large and almost blister-like. Panicked that she had the measles, I uploaded ¬†pictures to Twitter and Facebook asking for advice as to what it could be. Measles? Pox? SARS? Ebola? Plague? I got a variety of responses, most people thinking it was an allergic reaction or Roseola. I knew I couldn’t drop her back off at daycare with an unidentified rash (have fun Nellie! Don’t lick anyone!) so I took her in to see her pediatrician on Wednesday. Her fever had gone away by then, but the rashes were still blazing on her little knees and body.

Her doctor inspected her, taking care to look at her hands, feet, and mouth. He took a peek inside and nodded.
“She has some sores in her throat. I’m sending her back for a strep test, but I’m almost positive it’s not strep.”
Nellie tolerated her strep swab well, and charmed the lab technician with various animal impressions. After the test came back negative, the doctor gave his diagnosis:

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

Luckily, I have heard of HFM before as I have friends whose children have contracted it. It’s an extremely common childhood ailment, has a duration of about a week during which the affected child has to be quarantined from other children as it’s a very contagious virus. The doctor informed us that we were to keep Nellie away from other kids until the rashes were gone, regardless of whether the fever was still present or not. Rash = no contact with children. When I relayed the diagnosis to my husband he squawked, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!” My mother in law had a similar reaction.

I stayed home with her all day Wednesday, and all day Thursday because on Thursday, Josh developed a fever and a migraine. By Thursday, Nellie had already been confined to our apartment for four days and was getting very whiny. She still wasn’t feeling great, and add that to the fact that it’d been so long since she had been out of the apartment and that made for one unhappy little girl, and one verge-of-going-crazy mama.

Once daddy began feeling better, we decided to take Nellie out for some fresh air. It was a beautiful day on Thursday; about 65 degrees and sunny. We took her to our local Greenway so she could have some space and not risk licking/touching/sneezing on any other children. She enjoyed throwing some pebbles and playing in the creek there.

Just because you’re highly contagious and have gross rashes on your butt doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun at the creek.

While we were on our way home, Nellie started coughing and a second later we heard the unmistakable sound of vomit hitting the backseat of the car (Nellie is still rear-facing). And then we heard it again. And again. And then one more time. Nellie started wailing, I pulled over, and winced at the sight of my toddler covered in throw-up. Luckily it wasn’t too much farther to home, so I handed our dripping child off to Josh and took care of cleaning the inside of the car. These are the magical moments of parenting everyone always waxes poetic about, folks.

We think that the sores in her throat are causing her gag reflex to be a little sensitive, thus the coughing resulting in vomit. She is still covered in rashes, but is fever-free. We hope that the HFM will clear up over the weekend and our girl will be able to be released from her solitude and integrated back into society. We could all use the return to our normal routine.




  1. Poor little one! And poor mommy! That sounds tough. We will miss you at the coffee tomorrow, and I hope that rash clears up quickly.
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  2. Oh man! That sounds awful, particularly the vomit. I hope she gets well soon (and you get a break)!
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  3. Toddler follow want they want to do even it’s not right for them. They want to have mistake for them to learn. Thus, it correspond a little bit illness that can made them sick because of bacteria outside.
    Resha recently posted..are warts contagious?

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