Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

By Dr. Dania Rumbak of Baby Doctor

Dr. Dania Rumbak is the Head Pediatrician and co-founder of Baby Doctor, House Calls for Kids. Baby Doctor is an on-demand Pediatric Urgent Care service which brings a board-certified, Pediatric professional to your door, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Excited to partner with Nannies by Noa, Baby Doctor brings you this blog on Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

  1. What is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease? Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common, contagious illness usually caused by summertime Enteroviruses, most commonly Coxsackie virus. This year, we are seeing this virus all the way through fall and into the winter. The virus typically affects infants and children under age 5, but this year we are seeing it also in older children and adults.
  2. What are the symptoms? From first exposure, it takes 3-6 days for symptoms to appear. The illness starts with fever, sore throat and runny nose, followed by blisters in the mouth (inner cheeks, gums, sides of the tongue, top of the mouth), on the fingers, on the palms of the hands, soles of feet and buttocks. One, few or all of these sites may have blisters. The symptoms are typically the worst in the first few days of the illness and are usually gone by end of week 1. Children might get peeling of the skin on the hands and feet 1-2 weeks later, which is usually harmless.
  3. How is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease diagnosed? The diagnosis is made based on symptoms and how the rash looks. The blisters can also be swabbed and sent to a lab for diagnosis. If your child is diagnosed with this disease, be sure to inform their care providers and school so that they can let other families know to look out for symptoms.
  4. Can Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease be cured? There is no cure for hand, foot, and mouth disease, only symptomatic treatment. Pain should be treated with Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Try and keep kids well hydrated. Encourage fluids and ice pops.
  5. When should I call my pediatrician? Call your pediatrician or book a Baby Doctor house call if the fever lasts more than 3 days or your child is not taking in fluids.
  6. How is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease spread? You are generally most contagious during the first week of illness, but the virus may be shed from the nose, mouth and lungs within the first 1-3 weeks and in the stool for weeks to months.
  7. How can Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease be prevented? Wash your hands! Wash hands carefully before and after eating, before and after going to bathroom, before and after changing diapers, and before and after contact with your nose or respiratory secretions. Change or cover contaminated clothing. Clean, rinse, and sanitize toys. Prevent the sharing of food and other personal items. Prevent kissing as much as possible. Avoid sending kids to school with fever and open blisters.
  8. If my child has had Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, can they get it again? YES! Unfortunately, your kids can get Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, even if they’ve had it before. Try to establish good hand-washing practices all year round to prevent your child from getting sick!

Baby Doctor is here for all your Pediatric Urgent Care needs 24/7. Visit us at www.babydoctor.com. The first house call is only $60! Book your house call today!

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