All about Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease in kids

Small blisters on the palms of your child's hands or soles of their feet, or both, can be symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.

If you notice blisters in and around your child’s mouth, on their hands, or the soles of their feet, they may have a common childhood condition known as Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.

The good news is that this disease is not severe, and your child will make a full recovery after just a few days of TLC, Pretoria Rekord reports.

What is Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease?

Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is prevalent in infants and young children under the age of five but can affect children of all ages, including teens and adults. The majority of children experience moderate symptoms for seven to ten days before making a full recovery.

Signs and symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Symptoms include the following:

  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Throat irritation
  • Irritability
  • Mouth sores

Your child may develop severe mouth sores one or two days after the fever begins. These sores typically start as little red spots on your child’s lips and develop into painful sores in the back of their mouth. Your child may also develop a rash on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. In some cases, the condition can also cause a rash on your child’s knees, elbows, buttocks, or genital area.

At-home treatment of symptoms

Often, the infection is light, and the symptoms are manageable at home. However, there are situations when you should consult a healthcare expert. When is it appropriate to consult a healthcare provider, you may ask?

Consult a healthcare professional if:

  • Your child is not drinking enough water to maintain proper hydration
  • If your child’s fever persists for more than three days
  • Your child’s immune system is impaired.
  • After ten days, symptoms do not improve

Diagnosing Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease

Generally, your healthcare provider can determine if your child has Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease simply by looking at the blisters in their mouth or rash on their body. Occasionally, your doctor may collect samples from your child’s throat and send them to a laboratory for virus testing.

How is Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease spread?

This disease is caused by one of two common viruses (Coxsackievirus or Enterovirus) that can be transmitted to others via an infected person’s secretions of the nose and throat, such as saliva, drool, or nasal mucus. Children with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease are typically most contagious during the first week of illness. Children can occasionally spread the virus to others for days or weeks after their symptoms have subsided.

Good to know

  • This disease is most common in children in pre-school and childcare settings and can spread quickly.
  • Frequent hand-washing and avoiding close contact with people infected with this disease may help reduce your child’s risk of infection.
  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is not the same disease that affects animals and is not spread from animals. The disease that can affect cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats is called Hoof and Mouth disease. Humans are only extremely rarely infected by Hoof and Mouth disease.
  • You can’t contract hand-foot-and-mouth disease from pets or other animals, and you can’t transmit it to them.

Pretoria Rekord