Oct 15, 2021

Does Your Child Have Hand Foot and Mouth Disease?

Crisp Living.

Hand, foot and mouth disease most often affects children under 10 years old. The illness is caused by a virus, and young children’s weak immune systems are more susceptible to it than older children and adults.

The virus can spread through respiratory droplets from a sneeze or cough. It can also spread if a person comes in contact with the stool of an infected person. This is why it is extremely important to always wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Symptoms

Due to its symptoms, hand, foot, and mouth disease can sometimes be mistaken for chickenpox, herpes, or even insect bites. Knowing the symptoms that are specific to HF+M disease can help you know how to treat your child. The common symptoms include:
  • A red, painless rash on the palms of hands and soles of feet
  • Sores inside the mouth and on the tongue
  • Fever
  • Rash all over the body
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite

How is HF+M Disease treated?

Because it is a virus, antibiotics will not work as a treatment, and the virus will just have to run its course for about a week. Fever and pain related to sore throat or mouth sores can be relieved with acetaminophen.

If your child’s fever rises above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or if pain or a sore throat is preventing them from drinking enough fluids, you should take your child to the doctor. Dehydration is extremely dangerous, so it is important to keep your child consuming fluids while they recover. If you notice symptoms such as dry mouth, inability to produce tears or urinate, or fatigue, these could be signs of dehydration, and you should seek immediate medical attention for your child.

Eating can also be difficult while sick, due to mouth sores. A mild, soft diet is recommended, including foods like:
  • Applesauce
  • Chicken
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fruit
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Yogurt
Your child should rest and stay away from other children until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours in order to prevent spreading the disease. Remind your children to wash their hands often and avoid touching their face in order to keep themselves, and those around them, healthy.

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