At home, you may do whatever is possible to keep your child healthy and happy. Unfortunately, when your child is away from home, they will still be exposed to a variety of illnesses and viruses, even though you protect them so thoroughly at home. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a contagious disease that is most common in children under 5 years old because they do not have a very strong immune system. Knowing the causes, signs, and treatments for this disease is crucial if you have a young child. This guide will give you a full understanding of HFMD.
Causes and Signs of HFMD
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by a virus that spreads from person-to-person contact or via contact with surfaces that affected people made contact with. If your child comes in contact with an infected person's stools, saliva, or respiratory secretions, such as a sneeze or cough, they may also develop hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Signs of HFMD include the following:
- Red rash on hands and/or soles of the feet
- Uncomfortable red blisters inside the mouth
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
In most cases, the very first signs will be a sore throat and fever with the blisters and rash developing next. If your child is displaying these signs, consult their pediatrician.
Because it is caused by a virus, you will most likely need to wait for the symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease to pass over time. The amount of time your child is affected by the symptoms will depend on their overall health and strength of their immune system.
Fortunately, you can reduce the discomfort of their symptoms.
Various creams and ointments may be prescribed to ease the swelling, inflammation, and discomfort of the rash and blisters on your child's hands and feet. Syrups or throat lozenges can be used to ease your child's sore throat. The pediatrician will also recommend ibuprofen to treat the fever and headache.
If the blisters inside your child's mouth are causing pain, swishing and gargling with salt water may help. Your child should avoid salty and spicy foods to prevent further irritation of the mouth. Consuming soft, cold foods, such as popsicles and ice cream, is smart.
Since it is highly contagious, your child still also avoid school and any contact with other children, including siblings, for a few days as the virus passes through their body. Contact a clinic, like Better Family Care, for more help.