Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease Is Common In Children, Doctor Suggests Tips To Prevent

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is common among children. Doctor suggests tips to prevent it.  

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Sep 04, 2022Updated at: Sep 04, 2022
Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease Is Common In Children, Doctor Suggests Tips To Prevent

There can be many viruses that can cause illness among children. One of the common viruses among children is soreness in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. This is generally known as hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFM), which is a widespread viral infection resulting in painful red blisters on the hands, feet, and hips in addition to the mouth and throat.

Most HFM diseases are caused by coxsackievirus, an infection that primarily affects young children during the summer and fall. It can be easily transmitted by the touch of unclean hands, faces (poop), saliva (spit), nasal mucus, or blister fluid as it is contagious in nature. HFM can also be caused by respiratory droplets that are in the air after coughing or sneezing. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Ganesh Shivmurti Badge, Consultant - Pediatric Intensivist, Manipal Hospitals, Kharadi- Pune, to know about the tips to prevent hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease 

HFM Disease is not a very serious condition, and the symptoms goes away within 7 to 10 days. Symptoms that a child may experience can be:

• Children will become agitated, cranky, or spend more time sleeping than normal

• Face difficulty in eating and only want to consume cold liquids

• Have belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea

• Children may be seen drooling all the time due to the pain while swallowing

• Stops eating or drinking

• Rashes on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands

• Red, small bubble-like blisters filled with fluid

hand foot mouth disease

Tips to prevent hand, foot, and mouth disease 

The first seven days are the most contagious for this virus. However, the virus can persist in a child’s body for days or even weeks and is transmitted via spit or faces. The following precautionary measures can be taken to avoid the risk of infection: 

• The most important factor in preventing the spread of infection is hand washing. Wash your hands thoroughly after wiping a child's nose or changing a diaper

• Surfaces, toys, and doorknobs should be cleaned and disinfected

• Kid who has HFM should be isolated in a separate room and sharing of any utensils should be avoided

• Ask the child to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze

• Avoid sending the child to school or day care until the symptoms are gone

• Practicing good hygiene is the best defense against HFM disease

Also read: Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease: Symptoms, Causes And Care Tips

Treatment options for HFM disease 

Hand, foot, and mouth diseases have no known treatment or vaccination. However, these steps can be followed to make the child feel better:

  • Smoothies, yoghurt, and other cold snacks might help to ease a sore throat
  • Avoid giving the child a soda or juice because these contain acids that could irritate sores
  • Use anti-itching cream for rashes
  • Give painkillers or numbing mouthwash for relief
  • Make sure the child drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Give the child simple-to-swallow foods like eggs, mashed potatoes, applesauce, or oats. If swallowing causes pain, the child might not want to eat much