Hand Foot & Mouth Disease

Hand foot and mouth disease

 

Many parents are left baffled by a hand, foot and mouth diagnosis.Isn’t that the domain of sheep and cows? Rest assured, hand, foot and mouth virus IS NOT related to the foot and mouth disease found in animals. Hand, foot and mouth is a mild illness, usually caused by the coxsackie virus, and complications are extremely rare. The main issue that hand foot and mouth presents is simply keeping your child comfortable, as the blisters can cause them some discomfort.

 

Signs and symptoms

-Fever.

-Sore throat.

-Small blisters or lesions that can appear inside the mouth, side of the tongue, fingers, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and around the nappy area.

-Children may not want to eat, due to the pain caused by blisters inside the mouth.

 

Seek medical advice IF

 

HFMD is a mild illness, not usually requiring medical intervention. If your child is uncomfortable, give them paracetamol. Your child cannot tolerate any foot that is hot, cold or salty when they have HFMD due to the oral lesions.  Keep them well hydrated with water or milk and let the blisters dry naturally- do NOT pierce or squeeze them.  Remember, as with ANY rash, if your child has a fever and non-blanching bright red or purple spots/bruises, it may indicate the presence of meningococcal infection, and you should seek urgent medical help.

 

…and how to maintain perspective.

 

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild and very common childhood illness. It will resolve on it’s own and does not require any special treatment. You can help prevent the spread of HFMD with proper hand washing hygiene and by ensuring your child doesn’t share towels, cutlery, toothbrushes or clothing with anyone else. Once your child’s blisters have dried, they can return to childcare or school. Protect yourself as parents as you can catch HFMD too – and it is not pleasant.