PARENTS are being warned about an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease which is sweeping the country.

There have been a number of confirmed cases across Britain and abroad, including popular holiday destination Majorca.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common childhood illness that can affect adults.

It poses a risk to pregnant women as having a high temperature during the first three months of pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, although this is very rare, and getting hand, foot and mouth disease shortly before birth can mean the baby is born with a mild version of it.

The disease is also very painful and is easily contagious - meaning it can be passed on to people very easily.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include a sore throat, a high temperature about 38 degrees, not wanting to eat, mouth ulcers and a rash.

It usually clears up by itself in seven to 10 days.


How can I avoid catching it?

To stop it spreading, wash your hands often with warm soapy water – and teach children to do so, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, bin used tissues as quickly as possible, don't share towels or household items – like cups or cutlery and wash soiled bedding and clothing on a hot wash.

It is also important you keep your child off school or nursery while they are feeling unwell.

But as soon as they're feeling better, they can go back to school or nursery.

There's no need to wait until all the blisters have healed.

Keeping your child off for longer is unlikely to stop the illness spreading.