Monday, May 7, 2012

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Unfortunately this is something that I've been looking a lot into lately as my daughter caught it at a play-date last week.  First thing we learned is that the kid she was playing with had it 2 weeks ago so apparently it still hangs around that long - I don't know if it was from the child or the toys she played with or what but either way the virus was obviously still there.  

So if you think your child might have the disease, here's the information I learned: (From CDC Website)

Summary of HFM:
  • Usually causes fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters.
  • Is moderately contagious.
  • Mostly affects children younger than 10 years of age, but people of any age can be infected.
  • Has no specific treatment.
  • Infection risk can be reduced by practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently
M's Symptoms:
Monday - Play Date

Thursday and Friday - she was a little warm and with a bit of a diaper rash that we thought was from teething.

Saturday - she woke up with bad diaper rash and a 103.3 fever with bumps going down her legs a little bit.  We took her in to the pediatrician's office and the PA said she had mouth sores and a yeast diaper rash, so we were supposed to put Lotrimin on her bottom and the viral mouth sores just had to run their course.  She said it could be hand, foot and mouth or just viral sores that she's seen going around but to watch her hands and feet.  

Sunday - she had a few more sores on her feet and her legs were all red rashy from the knees down and her diaper area blisters were spreading down her legs even more.  Here's a picture of what her legs looked like on Sunday.  :(

Blisters similar to the ones in her diaper area

Rash that went from her knees down

She kept putting her hands in her mouth and even gagged herself a few times because I think her sores were hurting her.  She kept eating fine (which is great!) but the doctor said a lot of times, it hurts to eat so things like yogurt, milk and applesause might be more soothing.

So we concluded that it is definitely hand, foot and mouth and we just have to try to make her comfortable and wait it out.  We applied Lotrimin 3 times a day and then Desitin, A&D, etc every other diaper change.  Most of the time I would spread that out to the bigger blisters on her thighs as well (seemed to help...)  The first couple of days we gave her Ibuprofen every 6 hrs and lukewarm baths with baking soda around the 4th hour when it started to wear off...  We also fed her lots of yogurt and milk to help coat her throat.  Things started looking better today though - her diaper rash looks better and she wasn't running a fever so hopefully we're on the downward slope!   

Has your child had HFMD?  What treatments worked for you?

Here's Further Information From the CDC Website


Symptoms usually begin with a fever, poor appetite, and often a sore throat. A couple of days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth. A skin rash with flat or raised red spots can also develop, usually on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and sometimes on the buttocks. This rash may blister, but it will not itch.

Some people with HFMD may only have a rash; others may only have mouth sores. Other people with HFMD may show no symptoms at all.
The illness is typically mild, and nearly all patients recover in 7–10 days without medical treatment. 

Yes, HFMD is moderately contagious. The disease is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected persons.

People with HFMD are most contagious during the first week of their illness, but they can spread the virus that causes HFMD weeks after symptoms have gone away.
There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Fever and pain can be managed with over-the-counter fever reducers/pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In addition, individuals with HFMD should drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration


There is no vaccine to protect against HFMD. However, the risk of getting the disease can be reduced by

  • Frequently washing hands, especially after diaper changes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning objects and surfaces (toys, doorknobs, etc.) that may be contaminated with a virus that causes HFMD; and
  • Avoiding close contact (like kissing and hugging) with people who are infected.

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