Hand, foot, and mouth disease in children

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is very common in children. Given that it is caused by a virus, there is not much to do as a cure of this disease. In USA, every years there are more than 200,000 reported cases of Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Infants and preschoolers are affected more than adults. Dear Son had to go through the course of this disease when he was one year old. Let us explain some of the facts regarding this disease.

What is Hand, foot, and mouth disease?

It is a contagious viral disease that causes sores in the mouth, and rash in feet and hands. Coxsackievirus causes this disease. Symptoms involve sore throat, fever, blisters on tongue and gums, red rash, and no appetite. Babies get really irritated when they have the hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Despite its severe looks, this disease is considered a minor illness.



How contagious is this disease?

I would say that it is a super contagious disease. One day we saw a notice in the daycare center that there had been a report of a hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The same evening we saw blisters inside Dear Son’s mouth and rashes in his arms. Based on internet search, we learnt that this disease spreads even by handshakes. Additionally, it spreads well through sneezing and coughing.

How long does hand foot and mouth disease last?

Dear Son recovered in a week. The disease can last as long as two weeks. The first three days are the most painful ones.

What are good hand foot and mouth disease remedies?

Speaking of treatments, I am afraid there is no treatment. The virus leaves or clears up the hideout in around ten days on its own. The best parents can do is to make sure that the child is comfortable. Pain medications help. We gave Dear Son Tylenol (Acetaminophen) to reduce the pain. Tylenol helped. The child’s pediatrician may prescribe something else.

Do I need to take my child to a pediatrician in case of Hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Yes. It is a must because there can be many reasons of blisters, rashes, and fever. The disease has to be diagnosed medically.

Can someone get hand foot and mouth twice?

Chances are low based on statistics. However, virus and bacteria evolve over time. Moreover, there are multiple viruses that cause hand foot and mouth disease. Therefore, there is always a chance of getting exposed to the disease a second time.

Did we get the disease when Dear Son had it?

No. The chances of adults getting the hand foot and mouth disease is less than half than infants and toddlers. Who will take care of a kid if parents are also exposed to the disease? 🙂 This probably means that if an adult gets the hand foot and mouth disease, the members of the family between ages zero to five have very high chance of catching the disease.

Some references:
[1] WebMD link.
[2] MAYO CLINIC, Diseases and Conditions: Hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Settle in El Paso team


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Comments

10 thoughts on “Hand, foot, and mouth disease in children

  1. I remember ( a couple of decades ago) when my kids were young they came home from school with a note saying there was an outbreak of foot and mouth in the city and I had never heard of it in humans. I panicked as it is dreadful in some animals and whole herds of cattle have to be euthanized. But the note explained this was not the case for humans.
    1. Thank you for sharing this additional information. Yes, this disease is dangerous for animals with divided hooves. The disease in humans is caused by a different virus and considered a mild illness. The disease does not affect horses, dogs, or cats. Thanks once again for visiting and commenting.
    1. Agreed. Daycares are places where germs spread quickly, especially because babies are babies; they do not care much about contagion. I agree, who would miss the difficult sick days; we will always miss the cuddly times though. 🙂 It is always a pleasure to see you in our blog. We appreciate the visit.
  2. Well done and so true!!! It’s not a fun virus for our kiddos to get. The pain for the kids is the worst. I’m glad your son is doing better. Never fun to have sick kiddos.
  3. I didn’t know that the hand, foot, and mouth disease are so dangerous and it is contagious as well. So, there is no treatment for this? And we must worry and be scared for the health of our child for ten days… this is an unusual disease!

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