Hand Foot And Mouth Disease In Children

Infectious Diseases

Hand Foot And Mouth Disease

As Scary As The Name Implies?

 

Hand foot and mouth disease, also known as herpangina, typically affects children during the fall and summer months. However I have seen quite a few cases in the last few weeks. Though it usually affects young children, older kids and even adults can be affected.

Hand foot and mouth disease causes rash in the mouth, hands, feet and sometimes the rest of the body

What does it look like?

Hand foot and mouth disease causes rash in the mouth, hands, feet and sometimes the rest of the body. Symptoms include:

  • Small pimple-like lesions in the throat and mouth (vesicles)
  • The vesicles pop and become ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth
  • Small blister like rash on the palms and soles
  • Groin and diaper area rash (can appear throughout the whole body)
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fussiness

Though your child may have a decreased appetite and his or her mouth may be sore, you’ll find that cold, bland and non-acidic foods and drinks can help 

What causes it?

Hand foot and mouth disease is caused by a virus called coxsackie. It is very contagious and is spread through contact with saliva and coughing.

What can I do?

Since it is a virus, antibiotics will not help. Thankfully, it will go away, like a cold, in a week or so. Though your child may have a decreased appetite and his or her mouth may be sore, you’ll find that cold, bland and non-acidic foods and drinks can help (e.g. Yogurt, popsicles, ice cream, Freezies – your kids will be delighted!). Mouth ulcer treatment calls for Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen to lessen pain and fever. Viscous lidocaine mouthwash, available by prescription, can also help sooth the ulcers in the mouth. As always, see your pediatrician or family doctor if your child is not drinking enough.

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Dina M. Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

About Dina M. Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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