19 answers

Hand/Foot/Mouth Questions

Hi, my son has recently been diagnosed with the coxsackieviru (Hand/Foot/Mouth). I FREAKED! I didn't know of it other than the animal version, Hoof/Mouth, which my mind wandered to mad cow disease. But after doing some research on the internet, I've learned that it is common and just has to take its course. Its been 6 days and the blisters on his mouth are getting much better, more so than the ones on his hands and feet. I only assume that those will take longer since he is a boy and is VERY active, this virus has not slowed him down by no means. When I took him to the doctor, he only had a few blisters in his mouth and one one faint blister on his hand, so she wasn't sure if it was mouth/foot/mouth or not. But within a few hours of leaving the doctor's office, the blisters multiplied and triplied, confirming the doctors hunch. So not knowing much about the virus, I didn't have the questions that I do now. I'm turning to you wonderful ladies to see if you could help me with them! Now that he is getting better, do I need to disinfect everything that he's played with in the past week? Is it like the flu virus, I go around disinfecting everything! I plan on washing his bed linen, should I be washing his shoes? Toothbrush, toss? Is he still contagious even after a week? He still has blisters, but their not white anymore and he never really had a fever. Wondering if he could go back to daycare this week?? We've practically been locked up in the house because we usually live at the water park or a pool in the month of July, but with the blisters on his feet, I've been reluctant. Is there anything that I can help the blisters heal up? Any adive or suggestions would be greatful!!!

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So What Happened?™

I want to thank you all for your wonderful advice & wisdom!! They all were very helpful. I went through today and disinfected everything that I could think of and will do so again in a few days just to be on the safe side. My son's daycare will not allow him back until all blisters have disappeared so we are still stuck inside the house. Thank you all once again!! I know if I have any questions or concerns, I can turn to you all! And also, thank you for the kind comments and blessings for my deployed husband, they are very much appreciated as well!!

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My daughter had the disease about 2 months ago. The dr. told me that it is airborne like the flu, but is contagious for a little longer than after the fever has gone down...for my daughter it was about a week. Disinfecting things would be good. Hang in there...the sores will go away soon!

Hey A., what I'm about to tell you may not help but I thought you'd like to know that my child had it when she was inbetween 1-2 years of age. She is 6 now. I didn't know she had it until one day I was standing in the den/dining room area and my daguther was eating a Gerber Gard. cookie. She all of a sudden screamed and came running up to me crying. I thought it went down the wrong way. Well later on that evening she didn't eat supper and she had a fever so the next day I took her to the doctor and she had Hand/Foot/Mouth disease. She was almost over it. She did have the fever and the blisters in her mouth and on her hands and feet. I am so glad that it wasn't severe. We didn't do anything for any of her blisters.They went away on their own. The doctor just said give her something cool to drink or something cool to eat like a popsicle or something. She was fine a few days. It was scary to me. I had no idea what this was she had. I want to say that after 3-4 days they aren't contagious but it was a long time ago. I could be wrong about that. I would disinfect everything anyway. I do that all the time too. Mainly in the winter when my girls are around other people. I hope this helps and I hope he's feeling better.J. A.

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toss the toothbrush after he's over the virus. Cocksackie is HIGHLY contagious and it remains contagious until the blisters are gone. The virus cycle is about 7 - 10 days. The good thing about hand/foot/mouth is that it is NOT contagious until the blisters appear, so you did not pass it on to anyone while it was incubating. Unfortunately you need to steer clear of others until the blisters are gone.

Hi A. B.,you asked if you should disinfect? I wuold.You don't how long the virus lives.To be on the safe side,I'd lysol 'everything' he's played with.I'd lysol his shoes,then wash them. 'Toss' the brush.I am not sure if he's still contagious.To me,if it's not still spreading on him,it probably isn't contagious to another person.With the pool,that was very wise.On his going back to daycare that one I'm at a loss to say.How does he feel about going back? I hope this helps you.Oh, on healing the blisters,you could try some real 'aloe vera' without the dye in it (to make it look greener.)With the ordeal you have been thru,you deserve that R&R coming up.God be with you and bless you both.With love,S. l.

Hi A.,
There just happened to be an article in our city's new's paper this week on the subject. It said it is common during summer months, but no break out's here just yet. I was shocked, I'd not heard of it before. I questioned my daughter about it, she has two little one's, plus she was a medical assistant with a prominent pediatric office in the Mt.Lebanon area of Pittsburgh (a wealthy area) before her children were born. She said she had seen a lot of it ducing the 6 years working for 5 pediatricians. The new's paper article said it just runs it's course, and the only thing it suggested was to wash hands constantly, as well as the counter tops, and area's touched frequently. It stated that the blister itself was the way it tranfered from one to another, along with the usual virus contagian. Try not to be too upset, apparently it's as wide spread in all area's during the summer months. I think when he is blister free he could resume to daycare. Good luck and take care.

Unfortunately there is nothing that you can do to speed up the process of making the blisters go away. My daughter had hand/foot/mouth and the only thing unusual thing that I noticed was her skin peeling around her hands and feet after the virus ran its course. It would be a good idea to wash the bed linen and clean your son's toys just to be on the safe side. It is definitely safe for him to go back to daycare.

Our pediatrician wrote us a Rx for a "cocktail" that had Benadryl, Lidocaine and a prescription suspension (I can't remember what it was). My son would swish it around his mouth. Some of these "cocktails" are safe to swallow and some need to be spit out, just depends on the Rx. I'd call them right now and get some relief for your son! Hope this helps!

I know I'm late on sending this, but I've been on vacation. I was just reading some of your responses and wanted to correct one thing that was mentioned. Someone said that once they get it, they can't get it again. And that is not the case. My youngest son got it 2 years in a row...when he was about 9 or 10 months old and again when he was almost 2. I didn't think it was possible to get it twice either, but I was wrong and the second time was actually much worse than the first. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, I just wanted you to konw that it can happen.

My youngest daughter had this same thing when she was about 10-12 mos. old. I took her to the Dr., at that time (37)years ago, the Doctors did not know what to recommend for treatment, but a nurse pulled me to the side and told me to go to the drug store and ask for Glyoxide and as soon as I started using it, the blisters started to clear up. I do not know if they still make this stuff, but it bubbles out the germs like peroxide, the difference is, this is for the mouth. Good luck

Hi Well I am happy your son hasnt slowed down from this . My son who is now almost 19 had the same thing and I remember my doc saying anything that came in contact with the blisters to wash in hot water n toys soaked in bleach solution . Pools or public acyivities shouldnt be done until all blisters are totally clear . I hope this helps you .. I also am not sure if its like a flu virus but i know it transmitts easily .. Patty

Hi A.,

Yes, it's always a good idea to disinfect after someone in your home has a contagious illness. And unfortunately, hand foot and mouth disease is very contagious. My son has had it twice now and his pediatrician told us that once he stops developing new blisters, he is no longer contagious to other children. With that in mind, it should be fine to send him back to day care. However, depending on your day care's rules, you may be required to bring a doctor's note stating that your son is no longer contagious.

Needless to say, hand foot and mouth is an inconvenient illness, even if not a serious one. Good luck!

My daughter had Hand/Foot/Mouth disease, and I never washed or threw away anything. I'm proud of you for thinking about it (I didn't). I guess it couldn't hurt to disinfect and discard, but I didn't do that and that episode passed anyway.

Below is a link to a health info page on my pediatricians website. Very helpful!

http://tripeds.com/pa/pa_handfoot_hhg.htm

Yes, disinfect everything! Get a new toothbrush etc... While Hand Foot Mouth Disease is quite benign and not very serious, it is very contagious, especially in children. Very common in daycares and preschools. You might want to ask your daycare if there have been any other cases. I personally would wait until all the blisters are cleared up before venturing out into public places that have a lot of children. It should be clearing up very soon!

Hi A., my son cotracted this when he was quite young. His gums were so swollen that his teeth were nearly covered. It was very painful to him. It is highly contageous - so definately try to keep him away from other children. I know, that it is so hard! Disinfecting sure couldnt hurt. It will pass - thank God! Take care, D..

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Hi A.,
My son had a mild case a few months ago that I think he got from a local gymnastics class. Needless to say, after the blisters healed up, I really freaked because his skin on his hands and feet both started to peel. At first I started to put a slathering of Vasoline, then tried Blue Star, and then put socks on him to try to just make him moist... Nope,..not the trick. Finally, with the advice my not-so-neurotic-like-me- sister, I left it alone. After a bath, I avoided the areas and let them, as ugly as they look, dry up and peel on their own. He had a few crcked places where I did put some Neosporin, but other than that he was fine. I did wash his sheets in hot water, tossed his shoes, and it was about time for a new tooth brush... so no loss there. My other two did not get it and I did not take really any special strides to keep them from getting it. We were told to watch the baby, but he was fine. We all worry so much, but like my sister said...just let it alone...

Do a once over with your anywhere spray or spray of choice, and then try not to worry!

The good thing about Coxsackie, if no one told u (didn't read all the posts) is that once they get it, they don't get it again.. and it seems like u're child had a good case.. it's just like 5th disease or all those other things (mumps etc), once they get it, they don't get it again. My dd had it at 2 yrs old.. (she's now 3), my son got it a couple mths ago, and my dd never got it. So even if u don't disinfect everything like crazy in u're house.. I don't think it's a big deal.. I didn't ;)

Hope this helps :)

My daughter had the disease about 2 months ago. The dr. told me that it is airborne like the flu, but is contagious for a little longer than after the fever has gone down...for my daughter it was about a week. Disinfecting things would be good. Hang in there...the sores will go away soon!

Hey A., what I'm about to tell you may not help but I thought you'd like to know that my child had it when she was inbetween 1-2 years of age. She is 6 now. I didn't know she had it until one day I was standing in the den/dining room area and my daguther was eating a Gerber Gard. cookie. She all of a sudden screamed and came running up to me crying. I thought it went down the wrong way. Well later on that evening she didn't eat supper and she had a fever so the next day I took her to the doctor and she had Hand/Foot/Mouth disease. She was almost over it. She did have the fever and the blisters in her mouth and on her hands and feet. I am so glad that it wasn't severe. We didn't do anything for any of her blisters.They went away on their own. The doctor just said give her something cool to drink or something cool to eat like a popsicle or something. She was fine a few days. It was scary to me. I had no idea what this was she had. I want to say that after 3-4 days they aren't contagious but it was a long time ago. I could be wrong about that. I would disinfect everything anyway. I do that all the time too. Mainly in the winter when my girls are around other people. I hope this helps and I hope he's feeling better.J. A.

What timing A.. My 1 year old was just diagnosed with this Saturday. We noticed blisters in her mouth Saturday afternoon and took her to the hospital thinking it was strep. So, far (thankfully), she hasn't shown any signs of blisters elsewhere but does seem to have a slight rash starting. From what I've read, this process is 7-10 days and can continue to be contagious that long as well. Since this disease is spread thru saliva, I plan on washing down everything in the house and scalding what toys I can in hot, hot water. Now that her fever has been broke for 36 hours, I will also change her sheets and anything else she could have drooled on. I would do the same. Better to be safe than it pop up again, which it can. Good luck and God Bless your husband for the job he does every day. I wish for a safe, speedy return home to his family.

Dear A.,
My son, who is now 15, had HFMD when he was around the same age as your son. He had it so severe that the blisters nearly covered his teeth. I had never heard of it and like you, was a bit afraid until I found out what it was and what caused it. Anyway, to help you out better, I went to ask.com and found the info I'm sending you on the CDC website. The following I copied and pasted from that website. Hope this helps answer your questions.

Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with infectious virus. Infectious virus is found in the nose and throat secretions, saliva, blister fluid, and stool of infected persons. The virus is most often spread by persons with unwashed, virus-contaminated hands and by contact with virus-contaminated surfaces. Infected persons are most contagious during the first week of the illness. The viruses that cause HFMD can remain in the body for weeks after a patient's symptoms have gone away. This means that the infected person can still pass the infection to other people even though he/she appears well. Also, some persons who are infected and excreting the virus, including most adults, may have no symptoms.

Prevention:

Washing hands frequently and correctly and especially after changing diapers and after using the toilet.

Cleaning dirty surfaces and soiled items, including toys, first with soap and water and then disinfecting them by cleansing with a solution of chlorine bleach (made by adding 1 tablespoon of bleach to 4 cups of water)

Avoiding close contact (kissing, hugging, sharing eating utensils or cups, etc.) with persons with HFMD.

Again, I hope this info helps. Honestly it was easier than typing it myself. :-) If you need more help, just go to the cdc website or type in your search engine....hand, foot and mouth disease and it will pull up different web pages.

Hope he is feeling better. God bless.

S. E.

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