6 answers

Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

My 2 1/2 year old has come down with Hand Foot & Mouth Disease (similar to chickenpox but not itchy). Most likely picked it up from daycare. The doctor said to only give him Motrin or Tylenol for pain. Since it is a virus, there are no antibotics to give him. I bought Aveeno soothing bath and some Aveen cream to make him feel comfortable. Has anyone else's children has the same disease?? Doctor said this is common in young children and goes away in 10 days.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the information. My son still has the red spots & blisters on his hands, but they are starting to dry up. He's back to eating again and being his normal spunky self.

More Answers

My son had this when he was 1, and my daughter just had this on our vacation in December and then gave it to me. It was horrible. There are apparently several different strains of the virus, so even if you have had it before, if it happens to be a different strain, you can still get it. Make sure you wash your hands frequently. As for ways to help them feel better, both my kids had pretty severe cases. For my son, since it was affecting his fluid intake, they had my squirt maalox into his mouth. This coats the sores and allows them about 20 minutes where they can eat with a little less pain. If they have snot in addition to the sores, you can also give benedryl for that. The snot running down the back of their throats can be very irritating to the sores. Drinking through a straw instead of a cup seemed to help a little also. Also, and most important, avoid anything acidic--tomatoes, oranges, anything even slightly acidic hurts so incredibly much. For my daughter, she lived on yogurt and milk for the entire course of the virus, which was about 11 days for her. My son's only lasted 6 days, so I guess it varies depending on the child. When I had it, it was close to two weeks before the sores went away. Be aware too, that the virus continues to be excreted in their poop for months after the symptoms are gone, so be very careful about hand washing for a long time. Other foods that don't hurt much are rice, bananas, anything bland. Salty foods hurt too, so be careful with that also. My kids didn't have the rash on their hands and feet, and neither did I, just the mouth sores, so I don't know about the aveeno. We didn't get much sleep when either child had this, but motrin does help at night with the pain and lasts longer than the tylenol.

I am a teacher and it is very common, esp. in preschool. I just wanted to say to watch yourself for signs. Most kids don't even know they have it but the symptoms are much worse in adults who haven't yet built up immunity to it. You may have but if you notice you ache and are just tired ALL the time, go in for the blood test. I got it from a student and it was HORRIBLE!! It took 6 weeks to go away and I felt like I had the flu everyday!!!
Good luck!!!

My daughter got it a couple years back from her cousin. I've always thought it sounds so much worse than it really is. I didn't even go to the doctor - I just mentioned to my sister about these weird spots my daughter had, and she told me that her daughter had gotten them a couple days before. She took her daughter and was told the same thing, nothing you can really do but wait it out. My daughter didn't even seem to notice anything was going on, and it cleared up within a week or so. I also use the Arbonne baby line, because everything is all natural and also very soothing. Let me know if you'd like to try some of it - www.everydaycounts.myarbonne.com.

Hope it clears up soon.

-K. Mattoch

Hi A.,my daughter had this Hand, foot, and mouth disease, a type of coxsackievirus syndrome, causes painful red blisters in the throat and on the tongue, gums, hard palate, inside of the cheeks, and the palms of hands and soles of the feet.
Treating Coxsackievirus Infections
Depending on the type of infection and symptoms, the doctor may prescribe medications to make your child feel more comfortable. However, because antibiotics only work against bacteria, they can't be used to fight a coxsackievirus infection.

Acetaminophen may be given to relieve any minor aches and pains. If the fever lasts for more than 24 hours or if your child has any symptoms of a more serious coxsackievirus infection, call your doctor.

Most children with a simple coxsackievirus infection recover completely after a few days without needing any treatment. A child who has a fever without any other symptoms should rest in bed or play quietly indoors. Offer plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
When to Call the Doctor
Call the doctor immediately if your child develops any of the following symptoms:

fever higher than 100.4° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius) for infants younger than 6 months and higher than 102° Fahrenheit (38.8° Celsius) for older kids
poor appetite
trouble feeding
vomiting
diarrhea
difficulty breathing
convulsions
unusual sleepiness
pain in the chest or abdomen
sores on the skin or inside the mouth
severe sore throat
severe headache, especially with vomiting, confusion, unusual sleepiness, or convulsions
neck stiffness
red, swollen, and watery eyes
pain in one or both testicles
Please note that I did not write this. Not that smart. Just a cut and past. S.

Hi A.,
A friend's son contracted it a couple of years ago. It's easier to spread where hands aren't being washed after diaper changes, after using the toilet (or helping a child use the toilet) and all toys and such aren't being disinfected well enough at daycare. Not usually serious, but very uncomfortable. Ask your daycare provider how and when she is disinfecting all toys and play surfaces. She should be doing this daily (at least) and always washing her hands and childrens' hands after going potty. If you get a chance, watch your provider after she/he has changed a diaper. If hands aren't washed, find a new daycare! Try to keep your little guy comfy and remember that it is spread by contact with saliva, mucus, and fecal matter. Sorry you guys have to go through this.
Wishing your guy a speedy recovery,
L.

TONS OF KIDS HAVE HAD IT!!!! We have a notice posted at the preschool where my son goes. No one has it currently but the sign stays up! Don't worry-I personally know of 3 kids that have had it before. Don't expose anyone else or it will be an endless cycle! Good Luck!

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