Hand Foot and Mouth- Yowza!

Updated on August 12, 2011
E.O. asks from San Mateo, CA
8 answers

Hi- looking for some advice. My poor 3 year old son has Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. Realized it Tuesday night and got him into the doctor on Wednesday. He is totally miserable, crying a lot (up hourly at night) and I feel so helpless. We're giving him ibuprofen (5 ML based on age/weight) every 6 hours or so but he is in so much pain. They suggested giving him a tsp of liquid Maalox every four hours to help coat the throat/mouth but that's been impossible to do. I don't know what I'm looking for exactly- do we just give him popsicles and milkshakes until it's better? That's all he seems able to tolerate. I just feel horrible that I can't do more for him. Anyone have some uplifting story of how it gets better the third day? Here's hoping! Thanks!

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So What Happened?

You are all fabulous! Thank you so much. Day three is going way better. He had some breakfast and actually a long nap this afternoon which has put him in better spirits. We tried the HappyTots things (look very cool, but he didn't go for it) and bought the yogurt stick things and froze them to make popsicles. He also slept with the past few nights in our bed because he wakes up and cries every hour or hour and a half and I try to soothe him back to sleep. Started alternating ibu and tylenol too. Thanks so much, this was one of the tougher viruses for our family and I really appreciated all of your support and great ideas!

More Answers



answers from Daytona Beach on

my daughter had ice cream, yogurt and other cool, soft things to eat until she was better. when my daughter had something very similar to this, the ER prescribed her tylenol with codene. maybe (if you want) you can ask for the dr. to do the same for you?

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answers from St. Louis on

My 1 yr old just had the hand foot mouth disease a few weeks ago. The first 4 days was the worst for him. He had the fever for the first 4 days and then a body rash on day 5 & 6 day. After that he was back to normal finally. I rotated between tylenol and motrin with him. Ice cold water, popsicles, yogurt and cold bananas were his favorite those few days.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi E.,

This really seems to be going around. = / We're going through the exact same thing right now. It's been awful. I'm sorry your family has been hit, too.

My son hasn't had much of an appetite until tonight - this is day 3 for us. He actually ate well, but I noticed the sores were on his tongue for the first time today. We're doing Tylenol to try to avoid stomach upset.

I went to Target and bought those HappyTot organic superfoods. They're in the babyfood aisle, packaged in little single-serving squeezie containers (about $1.20/ea). They can feed themselves right from the container. Each one has a fruit, vegetable, and salba (supergrain) puree blend with protein, fiber, antioxidents and omega-3s. E loves them even when he's not sick, but they're coming in especially handy now that he can't tolerate much else. I feel ok with it bc what he's getting is still balanced and healthy. I keep them in the fridge and he picks out the one he wants. I also gave him some cool grapes and he seemed to like them.

I hope your family is out of the woods soon. No fun.

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answers from Kansas City on

my son had this at 3 also, he is almost 5 now (and we are dealing with his first broken arm lol). his was terrible, but it was all in his mouth, he had dozens of sores in there, but none on his hands or feet. he survived on pediasure shakes for almost a week. they told us to do the maalox thing too, i don't know how they expected us to do that when anything near his mouth made him scream in agony. we used sore throat spray a bit, that worked better. good luck and i'm so sorry you guys are having to deal with that.

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answers from San Francisco on

this was us 2 weeks ago. We did alternated Tylenol and Motrin so he got pain relief every 3 hours since that is when he said he hurt and would start crying. I also gave him Benedryl to help sleep which helped me sleep since he too was up every hour or even every 20 min. I am not one to give my kids meds but this illness was the worst I have ever had to deal with with since his fever didn't disappear for 6 days and the mouth sores were very painful for him. It will get better just do what you need to to make sure he is comfortable and yes it will pass even though it will feel like forever. I also found that he would sleep better when he came into our bed to sleep and no I am not one for bed sharing but this illness made that necessary and it helped both of us at least get 3 hour blocks of sleep. Good luck and hope your son feels better soon.



answers from Sacramento on

I feel for you! My son had it when he was 2 1/2 and it was the worst thing ever. He didn't actually have HF&M but a very similar virus on his tongue...which of course he kept biting making it worse. On top of that, he had an ear infection and roseola (sp?) We referred to it as "tongue disease." Anytime he tries to put something he shouldn't in his mouth, we remind him of tongue disease!
Anyway, we slept on the floor oh his room with him for 3 nights. He'd wake up and thrash around for 20-30 minutes, then sleep for an hour or so. The third night was better, though, and by the 4th night, we were all sleeping in our own beds again. The doctor has us alternate motrin and tylenol. She also told us to give him benadryl to help settle him to sleep. By this point he was so completely exhausted he couldn't sleep.
As far as food, popscicles, yogurt, whatever is soothing. Hopefully tonight, or last night, is/was better!


answers from San Antonio on

I slept on the couch with my son for 3 nights when he had HF&M (he never was diagnosed with it, but it's what I think he had). It was hard to keep his fever down, so I did Ibuprofen every 6 hours, plus Tylenol every 6 hours. It looked like this:
IBU: 8am
TYL: 11am
IBU: 2pm
TYL: 5pm
IBU: 8pm
TYL: 11pm ..... etc

Give him whatever works. For my son, he liked soup. (BTW - he did not have many sores in his mouth. Most were on his feet and hands.) I got him the Toy Story soup, added some extra meat to it, added more broth upon his request. Give goldfish crackers and let them 'swim' in the soup if that makes it more fun to eat. With my 3 yr old, having Woody and Buzz say theatrically: "Oh no! Don't eat me! Please don't eat me!" made my son smile and want to eat it more. Call the broth their 'swimming pool' and try to make it fun if indeed he isn't eating much and you want him to eat more.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son was older when he had it (6 I think). The magic swizzle mouthwash made a big difference but your son is probably too young to effectively "swish and spit". :(
Keep up with the pain medication...it helps.
And give him whatever he will tolerate as far as eating and drinking: frozen slurpees, ice pops, etc. Avoid carbonated stuff though.
Hope he's over the hump soon.

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