Hand, foot and mouth disease is quite a common childhood ailment often affecting children under ten, but it can also affect adults or older children too. However, it does often go away by itself, and unless it is a particularly pernicious case, it can often be dealt with at home. Contrary to popular belief, hand, foot and mouth disease is not related to foot and mouth, which tends to affect farm animals.
The infection tends to incubate for several days before the first symptoms emerge. They tend to be a high temperature of around thirty-eight degrees. Your child might also complain of a general feeling of being unwell or not right. They also tend to lose their appetite, which can go hand-in-hand with stomach pain and a sore throat and mouth.
As it Progresses
As the condition progresses, your child is likely to develop mouth ulcers. The ulcers look normal, to begin with, but they can become yellow. The ulcers themselves are often really painful for your child and can affect how they eat and drink because swallowing can be challenging. That being said, they usually go away by themselves after about a week.
A rash follows the ulcers, and as the name would suggest, they tend to be limited to the hands and feet, although sometimes they can be found on the buttocks or groin too. The rash is itchy and uncomfortable, but it again does go away after about a week.
Realistically, for most cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, you simply have to let it run its course. However, you should still encourage your child to drink a lot of fluids and eat soft foods to avoid exacerbating the mouth ulcers and making them more uncomfortable.
You can also give them Calpol for the pain and fever. You could also use things like Bonjela for the ulcers in their mouths too. However, whatever medications you decide to use, make sure you have read the instructions and the guidelines to ascertain whether or not they are suitable for your child’s age.
Dealing with hand, foot and mouth disease is all about keeping your child comfortable until it passes. Patient has a great resource on hand, foot and mouth that can provide you with all the information you need to manage this condition for your child.
As mentioned above, most of the time, hand, foot and mouth can be dealt with at home. However, there may be some occasions when you need to consult a doctor. For example, if your child hasn’t eaten, shows signs of dehydration, has seizures, has a prolonged high temperature or the condition simply seems to be lasting a long time. It is worth making an appointment with your child’s GP or calling 111 for some advice. It is always better to err on the side of caution.
While it might sound serious, probably because of its connotations to foot and mouth disease, hand, foot, and mouth disease is mostly harmless. It is an incredibly common childhood ailment like chickenpox or catching nits. In most cases, it will pass on its own; keep your child at home and keep them comfortable, and they should recover in seven to ten days.
*Any items sent for review are written about 100% honestly and in my own words. Sometimes collaborative content and partnerships with brands will appear on this blog. Affiliates links are used throughout this blog.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.