Hand, Foot, and Mouth Virus

Updated on July 31, 2008
K.D. asks from Sacramento, CA
18 answers

My daughter was diagnosed with this flu and is having trouble eating - mainly not interested. Also, she refuses to sleep in her crib now, only wants to sleep while being held..... Help! She is just about 10 months old and this is the first time she has been sick. :-(

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E.C.

answers from San Francisco on

My 20th month old son had this recently and it cleared up in about 2 1/2 weeks. We gave him children's Benadryl which and rubbed cortinsone onto his hands. He had it on his feet and hands only. He was constantly scratching his hands in his sleep and while awake and the Benadryl worked well. It did however make him very sleepy. Hold and comfort her till she sleeps. It'll pass. Good luck.

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H.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son got this when he was about 9 months and was teething at the same time. When he is not feeling well or is teething, I let him sleep with us for the comfort. He slept in his crib after it passed with out a problem. As for the eating, try pediapops for hydration, but if she eats a little here and there it should be ok!

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N.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
I know it is frustrating when your children have any type of challenges. I want to invite you to Children's Wellness Expo on Aug 2 in Sunnyvale. I feel you will enjoy this event. There are a panel of doctors from around the country putting this together to show parents the importance of a healthier environment to keep our children healthy.
They have these events in Europe it is the first time having one of these events in the states.
Let me know if this is something that interest you.

Have a blessed day.

N. Marie
[email protected]____.com

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

My 2 year old daughter had this when we were on vacation in May. I phoned our doctor and they told me to do a wash in the mouth of Maalox and benadryl around the clock (you can find the ratio online). This is supposed to numb the blisters in the mouth. I also gave her Tylenol per doc recommendations. All she wanted to eat was to drink milk. The doc said this is to be expected. We already co-sleep so that wasn't an issue. One thing the doctor did say was to keep them busy. It helps them get distracted about the blisters in the mouth and pain.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter had this at 7 mounth and it was very difficult (and her first tooth popped through at the same time!). She only slept when I held her but at least I got some zzzz too. After a few nights of me sleeping with her in our rocker, she was ready to go back to the crib but would wake 2 times a night, then after a few nights like that she went back to waking only once. Our doctor said to keep offering liquids and as long as you got at least 2 wet diapers a day she would be ok. Good luck!

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hi K.!

There will probably be alot of different opinions on the "sleeping" Issue of your problem, so I will share my opinion/experience with you :o)

Especially the first time our babies are sick we are extremely saddened. Mostly because we can't "help" them feel better faster. I comforted both of my boys in similar ways to how you sound like you are comforting your daughter. My thoughts were "whatever makes them more comfortable" is what I was willing to do.....including rocking more, holding more, etc...

We were successfully able to get back to normal sleeping schedule, however, it did require some work similar to "starting over". I knew that may happen, but was willing to go through it LATER in order to comfort in the NOW. So try not to be hard on yourself, because producing a secure, happy, comforted baby is more important right now :o)

As far as the eating goes, usually the Dr says eating ANYTHING is better then nothing. Just try to get anything into her system to avoid dehydration. Popsicles (make some if you have to), get a "food net rattle thing" and put her favorite in there. She can suck on it and get something into her system.

I'm sorry your little one is so sick. Life can be miserable for a mom at those times (no time to shower, eat, or anything). Hang in there, and make yourself "proud" that you were patient and loving enough to go through this with your daughter.

Best Wishes,

:o) N.

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S.E.

answers from San Francisco on

It is PAINFUL! Wash your hands! I caught it from my daughter when she had it. There are different strains and she caught it three times.

She wants to be held, so hold her. Both of you will feel better. I used to get my daughter to sleep, and as she slept I pulled the cover tighter around her, like snuggling. Eventually, I was able to slip out and proper her up a bit between pillows. I would also wrap her in my jammy shirt. When I did that, I managed to get more away time.

Stephanie

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T.S.

answers from Salinas on

I was diagnosed with this last week and the main symptom is sore throat. I totally understand why she does not want to eat. Liquids would be best. This will pass soon and then you can put her back in the crib, right now she wants you to comfort her. I am 40 and this virus took every ounce of energy out of me.
Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi K.,
My daughter just had the same virus. It's awful, as you know. She couldn't eat because the sores on her throat hurt so badly. She couldn't tell me that, but the doctor did. Doc said it would be 3-5 days of hell and then she'd be feeling better. She was right. She needed lots of extra love because she couldn't sleep well with the pain. I was up rocking her a lot at night, didn't want to start that cuz she gets in the habbit and then it's hard to break. But I felt it was all I could do to help her. So then I had to wean her back to "No mommy mid-night" routine which wasn't fun either. Hang in there.
A.

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G.L.

answers from San Francisco on

As I am reading this my daughter is suffering the same virus and it is hell. I haven't slept in 3 days and am dying to just wash my hair but clearly our babes just need us to be there to comfort them now. A friend, the one who's daughter gave mine the virus, said her doctor said you can alternate tylenol and motrin round the clock per directions on the bottle. It must be especially hard having this doozy as your first illness, we have endured a few colds. I'm taking comfort in the fact that hopefully by the weekend we will be out of the woods. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear K.,
If this is the first time your little baby has been sick, you are so lucky! On the other hand, the poor little thing doesn't understand why she feels so lousy and certainly can't tell you yet how she feels.
Both of my babies want their mommy when they don't feel good. The oldest is 22 and my son just turned 13 but outweighs me by 30 pounds or so. When they are sick, they want Mom. They want in my bed or they want my pillow. They want their backs rubbed or their heads scratched or to lay down with me on the couch. There is just something about that comfort thing that a mom can give and it makes them feel better.
I know you work and I'm sure you have a very busy life. But hold your baby while she's sick as much as you can and comfort her.
I truly believe that when kids are that little, if they get sick, they have no concept that it will pass and they will feel fine once they get over it. They already have such short life experience, they don't know if they're going to feel crappy forever or what. I think you have to comfort them through these things.
She's only 10 months old. She's gonna have the flu, might get chicken pox, might even end up with stitches in her forehead from the corner of a coffee table. You just never know.....
But the thing is, it's not the end of the world. Fevers come and fevers go, wounds heal. It's the comforting, I believe, that helps them to handle it. May daughter was VERY dramatic. Oh...the slightest thing....she was certain she would die......
I would hug her and comfort her, then I would lay her down on the floor and say, "Honey...I think I better do CPR in order to save your life." So, I would gently press on her chest and count 1,2,3,4,5 and when it got to the blowing part she would be giggling. I'd say, "You are not being a good patient. There is no giggling during CPR. 1,2,3,4,5".
Before you knew it, it was mostly tickling and giggling and she was fine. I literally have video of my son at 18 months doing "CPR" on his sister. We were constantly having to revive her.
I bring that up because as your daughter gets older, you will find ways around owies and scrapes and scratches.
For now....just hold her and love her and tell her it's okay.

I hope the little one will be feeling better soon.
Best of wishes.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter was sick a LOT when a baby.
Hard as it is sometimes, all I can say to you is...give her what she wants. She feels lousy and doesn't know why, and you are the comfort she seeks out. Go with it. It will resolve itself later. Sick is hard enough on our babies without adding the feeling of disconnectedness to it.
It's hard...hang in there. Mine is 14 now, and I can assure you, once she was well, she wasn't so clingy. And I got to wash my hair, LOL.

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T.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Both of my kids had this at different times, and my daughter actually gave it to me at Christmas time. This virus is horrible. It hurts so much. The closest example is that it feels like you are trying to swallow razor blades. When my son had it the doctor told us to squirt mylanta in his mouth before it was time to eat. The mylanta coats the sores and allows him to actually eat something. He was 11 months at the time and they said to use a tsp I believe. He spit most of it out, but it did help some. The thing with this virus is that it doesn't affect your appetite, your still hungry, it just hurts too much to eat. My daughter survived on drinkable yogurt while she had this, and drank it mainly through a straw. Dairy seemed to be about the only thing I could get her to eat other than popsicles. Offer her anything that is soft (think bananas, applesauce, etc) but stay away from anything acidic, which hurts so much on the open sores (citrus, tomato products). the other thing my daughter would eat was bread, not toasted, just small pieces of really soft bread. The virus usually starts to go away within 7-10 days, but I ended up with it for 2 weeks before I felt better. Most people had this as a child, and therefore unlikely to get it, but there are different strains of the virus, and you are not protected from anyone other than the one you already had. I did not catch it from my son and assumed I was immune, but apparently not the case since my daughter gave it to me a few years later. Also, the virus continues to be shed in feces for months after symptoms go away, so make sure everyone who changes her diapers washes well for a long time after each change. My daughter was almost lethargic she ate so little, but she was still having enough wet diapers, so I know she wasn't dehydrated. Just offer plenty of quiet activities and let her tell you what she feels like doing. As for the sleep, the doctor told us to give the kids benedryl at night to make them more comfortable, and it also seemed to help them sleep better too.

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G.B.

answers from Sacramento on

My 4 year old had this last year. She woke up with a a rash on her belly. Within an hour it was all over her body. Then it would slowly dissapear. Her pediatrician said it was probably Hand/Foot/Mouth Disease; very contagious from one child to another and usually caused by not washing hands/fecal matter...yuk! He suggested to give her benadryl, only if it was itchy, which it was not. He also reccomended giving her oatmeal baths to sooth her skin. Aveeno makes an Oatmeal bath product. It happened for a few days and then she started getting a fever. I took her to the ER. After many hours and several tests, it was discovered that she did actually have the Hand/Foot/Mouth and also a UTI, which was causing the fever. They were unrelated. They suggested she was probably more succeptible to the UTI because her immunity was down. Make sure she gets fluids more than anything and try the oatmeal baths to soothe her.

A little about the disease:
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral illness with a distinct clinical presentation of oral and characteristic distal extremity lesions. Most commonly, the etiologic agents are coxsackieviruses, members of the Picornaviridae family.`Transmission occurs by means of direct contact with nasal and/or oral secretions, fecal material, or aerosolized droplets in a fecal-oral or oral-oral route.Most cases of HFMD affect children younger than 10 years, although cases in adults are reported.

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K.B.

answers from Yuba City on

Jello, warm and jelled, pudding, yogurt, her throat must hurt her. This can make sucking very painful
She obviously feels awful, so I would hold her as much as possible. If you put one of your recently worn garments (that smells like mommy) between you when she nods off on your lap, you can SOMETIMES lay her down with it (already warm) AFTER she falls asleep. Sometimes I think it is being FLAT that bothers them when they are sick, they sleep better propped up. You are actually very lucky to get to 10 mo w/out a sick baby!

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T.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Nothing you can do but stay home with her and give her some TLC. My son had it a few months ago. The worst of it will be over in a week or so. Don't worry, she'll eat plenty when she feels better, so it doesn't matter if she doesn't eat. Just make sure she drinks plenty. Keep her away from other kids. The first time your child is sick is hard. I know. Just get back to your routine when she feels better.

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C.F.

answers from Sacramento on

My pediatrician has told me constantly whenever my child gets sick that it doesn't matter so much that they eat as that they drink. Make sure that you keep drinks going into her. Check with you pediatrician about using pedialite (not sure on spelling) or if she won't drink that then if she can have gatorade. My pediatrician told me that if my son wouldn't drink the pedialite just give him the gatorade, though stay away from the red so that if there is blood in the stool you can tell. However, my son is also now over 2 (which is why I suggest asking your pediatrician.) The most important thing is to keep her hydrated. Ask your pediatrician how to tell if she is dehydrated (usually my says watch that the child is still having wet diapers at their normal intervals) and watch out for it so that if she gets dehydrated you can get her some immediate care. If you suspect that she is dehydrated then immediately seek medical attention because a dehydrated baby is VERY bad. Keep in contact with your pediatrician to stay updated on any questions you have. Don't worry about bugging your pediatrician too much because it's important for you and your baby that you are an advocate for her.

Good luck. I hope she feels better soon.

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S.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Hang in there! My then 15 1/2 month old daughter and I both had it a couple of months ago. She also wouldn't eat for days. The one thing I could get her to half way eat was fruit. She also would only sleep when I held her, so I slept in my recliner with her. After about a week she went back to sleeping in her crib. My daughter had only been sick once at 10 months until I started working at a daycare center and taking her with me when she was 14 months old. My daughter, my husband and I have been sick with one thing after another every since. The hand foot and mouth is a bad one, I was totally miserable and had no appetite and I felt like I was trying to swallow razor blades. I thought I had strep throat at first. Then when I broke out in the rash every where I had the rash felt like I had a terrible burn. I can only imagine what this does to a baby.

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