Hand foot mouth condition
6 minute read, Written By: Momly
What are those red blisters in kids called? Why do they affect only the hands, feet, and mouth area? Are they treatable?
When the pandemic laid the world low, we got to know about Covid 19 virus. We delved deeper into it and tried to prevent it by maintaining social distancing and safety protocols. But do you know there are so many viruses that we are not even remotely aware of? For example, take Hand, foot, and mouth disease in kids. Many moms are not aware of this disease because it was unheard of. But slowly the awareness about Hand, foot, and mouth (HFM) condition is increasing. Momly addresses your need to know more about this condition by giving you facts and all you must do to prevent HFM from spreading.
What is Hand foot mouth condition (HFM)
Hand foot mouth, caused by a coxsackievirus, is a contagious, viral infection. It is very common in kids who are under 5 years. They are more affected by this condition as they come in close contact with other kids in their schools, preschools, and daycare centers.HFM’s blisters look similar to chicken pox but please note that chicken pox affects truncal areas like the chest, abdomen, and back along with other parts but HFM lesions are mostly on the hand, foot and mouth. If a certain kid has HFM, he/she may give it to others who come in contact with them. Unwashed hands, saliva, water droplets through the nose, or blisters cause HFM in kids.Symptoms are more or less like cough and cold. Glaring symptoms other than cough-related worries are red blisters, rashes, and painful sores in the mouth. As it is a viral disease, there are no certain medications that promise quick recovery and prevention of this disease. Kids should follow safety hygiene and healthy cleaning habits to prevent it from getting worse.
Common symptoms of HFM:
While the symptoms and outbreaks vary from kid to kid, below are some of the tell-tale signs of HFM.
- Cough and sore throat
- Rashes and painful blisters on the inner cheeks, the roof of the mouth, palms, fingers, and soles.
- Blisters are red and slightly raised.
- Fever and loss of appetite
- Reduced interest due to low energy levels
Rashes appear on their hands, foot, and back of their throat. The mouth blisters might get painful and kids often find it hard to swallow or eat food. Along with rashes and cough, they may develop fever too. Fever runs for 3 to 4 days and becomes the main reason for the decrease in their energy levels and loss of appetite.
Are treatments available to fight HFM?
Viral infections, generally, do not have any treatments or remedies. They will run their course. You can treat the cough with a cough syrup recommended by your doctor or home remedies like honey, tulsi, and sitophaladi churna. Kids should drink a lot of water and keep themselves hydrated. However, if the symptoms get worse, you should see a doctor. Your doctor will suggest some measures to increase the immunity levels in your kids to enable their bodies to fight this condition. HFM stays for a week or 10 days and the symptoms start to subside within that period.
What should you do if your kid is infected by HFM?
If your kid is affected by HFM and has more or less all the symptoms, you should do the following things right away:
- Do not send your kid to school. Even if he/she is all right except for red blisters like lesions in their body, it is unsafe to send your kids to school. HFM spreads very easily and it is not advisable to put other kids at risk.
- Your doctor will ask your kid to stay at home for a week. A week or 10 days is a quarantine period for HFM. The symptoms vanish within a week and your kid will be back to normal.
- Do not apply soap or body washes to your kids’ skin. Blisters or rashes will spread if you apply any body care products. Just run water on them, pat them dry and let them heal on their own. Follow this protocol every day during their bath time. “My doctor said not to apply any medication or cream on the blisters. They will dry out on their own”, guides Chashmeet (Momly mom)
- Keep your kids’ skin clean and uncovered till the blisters dry out.
- Ask your kids to drink a lot of fluids and especially water
- If there are mouth blisters, then avoid giving them hot or spicy foods. Let the food be at room temperature. You can give them cold refreshing smoothies or fruit salads so that their blisters won’t hurt.
- Do not get them to crowded places or near younger kids as small kids are more vulnerable and lower on immunity. “My kid got it from the kids in the park. It is very contagious”, says Pooja (Momly mom)
- HFM recovery period is around 7 – 10 days. You can send your kids to school after that period. “Usually, it goes away in 4 to 5 days but it is better to give your kids 7 days of rest. You can check after 7 days with the doctor if your kid is ready to step out”, says Neha (founder – Of momly)
- Kids should wear masks if they are in crowded settings as breathing in air droplets of them will cause spreading to others.
- HFM condition can relapse but following safety, and hygiene can reduce the chances of getting infected, says Meghnit Talwar (Momly mom)
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