Hand, Mouth & Foot Disease

Updated on June 14, 2011
J.J. asks from Dallas, TX
15 answers

ick. i picked up my son today, 2.5 yrs old, from daycare & there was a posting that another kid had hand, foot, mouth disease. i never even heard of it until today! so i googled it & aside fr blisters doesn't sond any different than any other illness my son's already had. i don't think he necessarily has a low immune system, but he certainly get sick a lot (except for May & June - Thank God!)
anyway, it also said the incubation period's 3-7 days. well, the daycare we go to & area i live in is pretty low to moderate income & most people won't keep their kid home that long. also, they said the virus was still transmittable for several weeks after - GREAT! i'm not worried about it b/c i definitely can't control it if he gets it, but i was just wondering if y'all had any experience w/it & how awful or manageable it was.

thanks so much!

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answers from Dallas on

My kids had it last month. It really wasn't that big of a deal. Very manageable and an only slightly annoying rash.

My kids did have the beginning signs (although they were so small I barely noticed). Cold-Allergy-Like Symptoms...runny/stuffy nose and kind of tired. Then all of a sudden one day, they both had rosey cheeks. I thought they were just tired due to the unusually busy week we had volunteering for Teacher Appreciation. But, then my daughter (almost 5yrs old) had a rash on her legs. I really had no idea what it was. I thought maybe it was an allergic reaction to some new fabric softener I was using. She wasn't itchy at all and didn't seem to notice it. Then my son (7 1/2yrs old) came down with the rash. His was more serious. It was all over his shoulders, then moved to his back, down his trunk, legs, then feet. He was annoyed quite a bit with the itching. I just gave him some benadryl and an oatmeal bath to comfort him. Him getting hot and sweaty made the rash worse...so keeping cool was very important.

The rash lasted probably a week and then it was gone. I found out several days later some other kids in his class had recently had it. Honestly it really wasn't that big of a deal...at least for us it wasn't. The kids really didn't have any cold symptoms to treat and by the time the rash made its appearance, they were no longer contagious. And really there's nothing you can do anyways since it's a virus. All you can really do is treat the symtoms with benadryl and maybe some hydrocortisone for the rash.

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answers from St. Louis on

My son had. Uhhhh, it sucked. But my son is pretty dramatic when hes sick. He was miserable.



answers from Pittsburgh on

If he gets it, definitely see if he can get an Rx for the Magic Swizzle Mouthwash if his mouth hurts.
Otherwise, Tylenol or Motrin for fever & discomfort.
For my son, the hand/foot blisters hurt him worse than the mouth part. In fact, he ate a McD's chipotle chicken wrap on the ay home from the pediatrician. :)



answers from Dallas on

It is like any other virus except it can be rough if an adult gets it that has never had it and if the child has pain due to blisters in their mouth, that can make it hard for them to eat and then they are crankier, and on and on. If he gets it, I recommend giving him same amount of benadryl and maalox mixed together to sooth his throat and mouth about 20 minutes before eating time. Use the dosage amount that you already give of benadryl for that age (if you don't know go to www.askdrsears.com and see his medicine cabinet link for dosages for over the counter medicines). That is really the only thing we did besides the normal providing soft, cold foods, ibuprofen for fever and pain, and the benadryl/maalox mixture.



answers from Los Angeles on

All of my boys have had it. It can be pretty miserable, and the mouth ulcers can be very painful. I tried to control the pain with paracetemol, and teething gel. Ice blocks can also be good. BTW, I think people with higher incomes also try to get their kids back to school asap!



answers from Dallas on

My son got it the first time he went to the nursery at church. He just woke up one morning and had some bumps on his hands then we noticed them around his mouth. We took him to the doctor and he looked at his feet and there were little bumps there, too. Diagnosis was hand, foot, mouth disease. He had no other symptoms that I can remember except that he had kind of a decreased appetite during that time -- maybe because the inside of his mouth was affected and it was painful to eat/chew? It sounds a lot yuckier than it really was for us. Good luck and hope your son doesn't get it!



answers from Biloxi on

Both my kids had it, and each time the only symptom they really had was a low fever and blisters in the back of their throats. Each time it was diagnosed just as it was starting to get better. And each time it wasn't that bad for them. Yes, it hurt to swallow, but warm milk and other liquids helped with that. After a few days of cuddles on the sofa they were each okay and ready to take on the world.



answers from Dallas on

My son had it and in our case it really wasn't a big deal. He got a few blisters on the bottom of his feet and his throat was sore but I don't think he even had a fever with it. Its a virus that no antibiotic is given for but the pedi precsribed him some maalox mixture to put on it for itching but he never used it. Unfortunately with a virus its very contagious and has to run its course. Hope he doesn't get it! Good luck mama



answers from Boston on

my daughter got that from daycare a few times....it was like a regular cold with bumps on her hands....and the ones in her mouth didnt effect her eating or drinking either. we also have 6 other people in our household that never got it when she had it and was contagious with it either...



answers from Dallas on

I had a friend who lived across the street once whose daughter caught it. She had been playing at my house, mouthing all the same toys etc.. so I paniced. Thankfully my son never got it but her daughter did end up going to the hospital because she wouldn't drink/eat so she was treated for dehydration. It was kind of scary but w/in a few days the blisters in her mouth had calmed way down but she still didn't want to eat, she seemed scared that it would hurt:(



answers from Dallas on

It can be real contagious. I am an in-home daycare provider and my policies state they have to be cleared of blisters because if it pops and get on the toys someone else then will come down with it. Your daycare should have taken extra steps in the room that it occurred in. If the child was out over the weekend and did not come back on Monday then you might be okay. If your child was not in the room with that child then you have a good chance that your child will not get it. All children are different and it can be real painful. Good Luck and hopefully he will not contract it.



answers from Daytona Beach on

my daughter got something similar. IT's actually what the ER diagnosed it as on the paper they sent home, but it's not technically what she had. anyways, what she had was supposedly worse. but it wasn't that bad. the fever was high, about 104. she had blisters in the back of her throat, which made it hard to eat/drink. i fed her ice cream, yogurt, and pudding. things that are easy on the throat. she was better within a week.



answers from Philadelphia on

My son had it and it was not pleasant. He didn't get any blisters on his feet or hands, just in his mouth. The problem is that it's most contagious before they have symptoms and it's highly transferable through saliva. Kids at daycare put almost everything in their mouth, so it spreads really easily. The pediatrician cleared my son to go back to school as soon as his fever broke. I think he had a fever for about 3 days, but the mouth sores lasted much longer (and actually didn't appear until after his fever was gone-initially we didn't know what he had). My son couldn't verbalize how it felt, but he didn't eat much for about a week (things he ate were fruit, apple sauce, ice cream, smoothies, liquids-anything cold and smooth). I actually got it too. (My husband was watching our son and he put my tooth brush in his mouth, but my husband didn't mention it until after I'd brushed my teeth.) It's apparently worse in adults and for about a week I felt like anything bread-like felt like sand paper in my mouth. It was similar to the feeling you get when you burn your tongue on a really hot drink or hot pizza cheese, but all over my entire tongue. It's a virus, so you just have to wait it out and give motrin for the fever, push a lot of liquids and hope it passes quickly. I hope your son doesn't get it! On the bright side there are much worse things he could get. Just keep him hydrated and he'll be fine.


answers from San Antonio on

My son may have had it (right at his 3rd bday). The dr did not diagnose it, but we are pretty sure that's what it was. The hardest thing for my son was that his blisters ITCHED and ITCHED. He'd scratch all night long. We spent 3 nights on the couch together so that I could hold him and try to help him get to sleep despite the itchiness. He ended up having maybe a total of 100/150 little red pimple-like blisters on the bottom of his feet, on his hands, and a few on his face. Maybe a few in his mouth. Not one on his torso. He also had a high fever at the beginning and I had to do a few cold showers. We had to do some ibuprofen/tylenol alternation so that it would stay down. My son may not have had this hand/foot/mouth disease. But maybe it was. PM me if your son does end up with it and you have more questions. It was a rough 3-4 days when the bumps were at their peak blistery-ness and itchi-ness. (we gave him oral benadryll plus the topical benadryll cream. dr said that was okay, even though the labels say not to mix the two).



answers from Kansas City on

my daughter got it, and her only symptom was foot bumps, but she rarely put her feet in her mouth. We were lucky. Our friend's son is always licking the floor and kept getting it in his mouth, the yucky blisters.

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