Sunday, 28 July 2019

Forum: No need to keep kids with HFMD-infected siblings from school

We thank Mr Nicholas Tee for his letter (Keep children with HFMD-infected siblings away from school, July 18).

The Early Childhood Development Agency and the Ministry of Health work closely to monitor cases of infectious diseases in pre-schools, including hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Preventive measures are in place in pre-schools to minimise the transmission of HFMD and other infectious diseases, and pre-schools are required to follow guidelines for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

These include daily health and temperature checks of children upon arrival at pre-schools, ensuring appropriate hand washing by staff and children, and designated sick bays for unwell children to rest while waiting to be taken home.

HFMD is a common childhood infection that is generally mild and most children can recover on their own without treatment.

Unlike highly severe infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), requiring contacts of HFMD who are well with no symptoms to stay away from school or work and self-quarantine at home is not required.

Siblings of children diagnosed with HFMD but who remain well with no symptoms may continue to attend pre-school as they are less likely to transmit HFMD to others.

This approach is similar to how other infectious diseases, such as influenza or viral gastroenteritis, are managed.

The key to minimising the spread of such diseases is for individuals who are unwell to stay away from work, school or crowded places.

We appeal to parents whose children are unwell to keep them at home, so that they do not spread their illness.

It is also important for all of us to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. This includes practices such as washing hands with soap before eating and after going to the toilet; covering one's mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throwing the tissue away into a bin immediately; not sharing food, toothbrushes or towels; and disinfecting articles such as toys or appliances contaminated by oral or nasal secretions.

Vernon Lee
Director, Communicable Diseases Division
Ministry of Health

Bernadette Alexander
Director, Regulation and Standards
Early Childhood Development Agency


Singaporeans 6th most vacation-deprived globally

Singaporeans need more time away from the daily grind, according to a new survey out yesterday.

It found that around 60% of full-time workers felt "vacation-deprived" last year, with 40% saying they could not get enough time off work to use up their annual leave.

A striking 77% said they would take a pay cut just to get an extra day off, noted the survey by travel agency Expedia, which polled around 11,000 full-time working adults across 19 markets, including 300 here.

The finding that 63% of workers here felt they did not get enough vacation time last year moved Singapore up one spot to the sixth most vacation-deprived market in the world.


My photo - pouch string

A public domain photo by me