Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

7 May

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My daughter has blisters on her feet and hands and I just noticed when she was screaming on the scale that she has some in her mouth too.”

“Can I re-arrange those words for you to help you out? Ever heard of hand, foot and mouth disease?”

“Oh yeah, there was a sign up at day care last week talking about that.”

What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is caused by a virus.  In addition to the sores whereby it gets its name, children can also get blisters on the genitals as well.  A related virus called herpangina causes the mouth blisters but not much else besides some fever.

What Do I Worry About?

The sores themselves are not particularly concerning with hand foot and mouth disease. The bigger concern is that often our babies won’t drink much because of the oral sores, and dehydration can become an issue.  It’s important to watch for wet diapers; your child should have one about every 6 hours.

How Do We Treat HFMD?

Well…it’s a virus so check out this post on why antibiotics won’t be effective (Sorry, It’s “Just” a Virus (PedPathForParents)-Why Doesn’t My Child Need an Antibiotic?).  The main treatment is treating the pain with tylenol and motrin.  Some doctors recommend using a mixture and maalox and benadryl for the oral ulcers.  Call you doctor to ask if they do provide this recommendation and the dosing for your child.

Also provide cold and soft foods as they may help your child to eat and drink more.

So, You’re Not Going to Give Me Anything Else?

Nope, sorry…just the peace of mind that it will be better in about 3 days.  Also a reminder to wash your hands frequently when caring for your child as I had a dad catch it last week who said, “It’s the most miserable I ever remember feeling.”  Good luck and push fluids!


2 Responses to “Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease”

  1. Cami May 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Oh Lawson had it last spring and it was a doozy…he was highly uncomfortable and eating and drinking was a chore, so I’d rate it an 8. Then when we finally went into the doctor because of cough and fever too–he had double pneumonia! Highly unpleasant experience.

  2. Amanda May 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Were you talking about my husband in that last paragraph? Marcus and I were so miserable. I guess neither of us had it as children. For a few days we both just wanted to lay down and die. Jude was sick/acted sick for 6 /7 days, Marcus was sick for 10, and I felt pretty bad for the full 14 days. Thankfully Jude got over his really bad 3 days before Marcus and I got sick with it. It is a horrible illness!

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