How Common Is Hand Foot Mouth?

Updated on November 17, 2008
J.F. asks from Plano, TX
5 answers

My oldest child had hand, foot, mouth disease when he was 19mo (he's 4 now) and again when he was 27 months. I had never heard of it until he had it and then thought it was something we contracted from my employment ( I was a teacher in a country school where the kids weren't so clean). However, now my youngest, 18 mo, has it and we live up here now. Is this more common than i realized? We are constantly washing and using "germ juice" as my oldest calls it. I don't ever remember anyone having this when we were younger. Any suggestions on how to get past it quickly and comfortably?

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answers from Dallas on

Well, I am not 100% certain that this is the same thing, BUT, my daughter had one of the coxsackie viruses which is the family of viruses that foot and mouth comes from. The particular type she had is the one where there were blisters on the back of her throat so she did not want to eat or drink. She was 18 months old at the time as well and I think we either got this at daycare or from an unrelated trip to the Dr. Like the other commenter below, I think this was the herpangina form. Looks to me like this is VERY common!

Also like the other commenter, our Dr. suggested 1/4 of a teaspoon of the plain children's benadryl to numb the blisters in her throat, followed by 1/4 of a teaspoon of mylanta to create a coating over the benadryl. That is the most awesome trick ever, probably for any sore throat if you know that's what is going on with your child. Immediately after we did that, my daughter wolfed down a peanut butter sandwich and two sippies full of water. I only had to do that for one evening and then again in the morning and after that she was fine. We also gave tylenol alternating with motrin as needed when the fever started to look too high.

For preventive measures, we are hand washers like you guys. That's the best way to prevent these things but viruses are tough to avoid. Second, I give my daughter 250 mg of vitamin C every day. When I think she's getting sick, I add doses of a kid's formula of Echinacea/GoldenRoot that they sell at Sprouts. We still get sick but not nearly as often or as seriously anymore (HOORAY).

Hope this helps! Good luck and hope your baby gets to feeling better soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't know how common it is, but my 15 month just got over it. I also have 2 boys, 3 1/2 and 15 months. This is the first time I heard of it. It sounds like something an animal would have. My poor little baby had such a high fever that we couldn't get down that we wound up at the ER 2 Sundays ago. It wasn't until we went to the pedi the following afternoon that it was diagnosed. Our pedi saw the ucler at the back of his throat and said it was "herpangina" which is another name for hand foot and mouth disease. It took pretty much a whole week for him to recover. We mixed 1 oz children's benadryl with 1 oz mylanta (they don't have children's) (per the dr) and gave him 1 tsp of that to relieve his discomfort and it REALLY helped. Did that every 6 hours along with motrin or tylenol. You need to avoid fruit and fruit juice because the acids irritate the ucler(s) and push milk or milk products. Luckily my baby still breastfeeds, so he lived on that for about 5 days.

I stay home with the boys, and we also are pretty clean, so I don't know how my baby got it. I do know it's pretty contagious, but the rest of the family hasn't gotten sick.

Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When I was 2 years old, the Mother's Day Out I was going to sent home a note that it was going around, and I got it. My mom says it didn't bother me much at all, but that my dad got it from me and was really sick from it. So, her advice would be to do your best not to contract it, and keep from spreading it to other children. Of course, I don't remember it, so I don't really know what it even looks like.



answers from Dallas on

I don't know how common it is either but it is nothing new. My son, now 23, had it when he was just a few months old. As I remember he was uncomfortable but it passed in a couple of days. Dr. said it was common at the time and that it was NOT what animals get.......hoof in mouth disease. He was not concerned at all. All we could do was try to make him comfortable.......we did a lot of walking the floors.


answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
I think it is quite common. Almost everyone I know with kids has had it at one point in time.
As for getting over it quickly, I think it just has to run it course.
If I remember, my doctor did give me some concoction to make to swab in my sons mouth to help with the sores. It did help. I can't remember what it was, though. Maybe if you call your doctor's office they can tell you.
Hang in there. It's so hard to see our sweet "babies" hurting.

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