Some children don’t act sick even if they’re covered in rashes and the like. But for this mother, the presence of the dreaded and very contagious hand, foot, and mouth disease doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for her when it comes to taking her kids out of the house.

In an Instagram stories screenshot, an online forum user showed a photo of two kids on a swing set in a park. The photo could have been taken by their mother, but it’s the caption that was the most distressing of all. The caption read, “HFMD but still smiling,” followed an emoticon. The caption means that despite both kids or only one child going through the illness, the children are still smiling and happy.

The Instagram account of the mother has since been taken down.

Why is this such an issue?

While restricting sick people from their life choices and freedoms is against the law, HFMD is a highly contagious disease that can lay a child low for a week or two.Any surface that the child has touched with the sores or any place that was exposed to droplets from their mouth and nose shall have the virus ready to contaminate and sicken the next person to touch it.

In this case, the sick child or children are clearly contaminating the whole playground with the virus. While not all the people who come in contact with the swings and other areas will get sick, anyone who has a compromised immune system will be in trouble.

The person responsible for these kids should have simply kept them home.

What is hand, foot, and mouth disease or HFMD?

While the disease is a mild virus that’s usually found in infants, the symptoms are quite uncomfortable and sometimes very distressing. According to WebMD, the symptoms of HFMD are:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling of being unwell (malaise)
  • Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks
  • A red rash, without itching but sometimes with blistering, on the palms, soles and sometimes the buttocks
  • Irritability in infants and toddlers
  • Loss of appetite

Some infections are avoidable, and people who are sick with HFMD are usually advised to stay at home and rest. But this mother knowingly exposes er children to a public place where they could infect other kids!

What do netizens say?

Netizens have chimed in, and the responses can be quite vicious while others simply do not care. According to their posts, the appropriate town council has been notified and that the area will be cleaned.

Some thought that the post itself was wrong and that some people would viciously hunt the kids and mother down for posting such a thing.

While another commenter was appalled at the mother and showed that the first comment may have some weight to it.

What do you think? Should the mom be berated from bringing her kids with HFMD to the playground? Let us know in the comments!

Header image from Shutterstock, red spot on hand