Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease In Children: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Home Remedies
Created by Dr Supriya Mishra Updated on Dec 14, 2018
Hand foot and mouth disease is a common childhood infection. It usually affects children less than 10 years of age, although adolescents and adults may also get affected. The disease is caused by a group of virus, most commonly by coxsackievirus A16 and enterovirus 71. HMFD is completely distinct from foot and mouth disease which infects only animals. Humans cannot acquire this disease from animals.
What Is Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease?
It is known to be a contagious disease that often spreads through direct contact with the affected person, feces, infected spit, nasal secretions, blister fluid or use of substances infected with virus like toys, doorknob, etc. The illness usually starts 3-7 days after the child has been contracted with the virus.
Symptoms Of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease
- Fever of 38C which is the first sign of infection followed by
- Sore throat and painful ulcers on the back of the mouth and throat and at the sides of the tongue
- Rashes on the soles, palms, knees, elbows and buttocks that may turn into flat spot or blisters.
- Loss of appetite
Diagnosis Of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease
The illness is not a serious condition but can cause much discomfort to the affected child. The disease is self limiting and disappears by itself after 7-10 days. In rare cases it may lead to meningitis and encephalitis that need immediate medical attention.
Diagnosis can be done by the history that the patient gives and the clinical signs and symptoms. The doctor may take a throat swab or stool or blood sample for confirmation of diagnosis. Currently there is no vaccine available to prevent the disease.
Avoid The Following If The Diagnosis Is Positive
Parents as well as the child should practice thorough hand washing before eating and after changing diapers or using washroom or wiping a runny nose. Disinfection of floors, and all other things commonly picked up and used by the child; and avoidance of crowded places like shopping malls and day care where the baby can contract the disease easily, can prevent the disease to a great extent.
Close contact like hugging or kissing the affected child or use of same utensils for eating should be avoided.
Avoid sending the child to go to school during the illness and for some days after the infection has subsided as the infection can spread to other people too. Maintaining cleanliness is of utmost importance in everyday chores to help prevent the occurrence and spread of the infection.
Treatment of Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease?
No specific treatment has been designed for this disease. Treatment is based on the type of symptoms and discomfort that appears in the baby. Over the counter analgesics like paracetamol or numbing sprays or ointments can be used after consulting the doctor. The parents should keep in mind that the affected child should be well hydrated during anytime of the illness.
10 Home Remedies To Ease The Discomfort In Your Child
Certain home remedies can be effectively used to ease the discomfort of the child. These are as follows:
- Use of warm saline rinse: rinsing with warm saline water three to four times daily will provide relief from the painful blisters of the mouth and sore throat.
- Coconut water: lauric acid in the coconut water helps in fighting against the virus. It’s cooling properties helps soothe the ulcers in the mouth and keeps the child hydrated.
- Lavender oil: Few drops of lavender oil in the bath water helps in relaxing and calming the child affected with HFMD. It is known to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
- A 5-10 minutes swish with coconut, sesame or peanut oil might help in soothing the child affected with painful mouth blisters.
- Application of coconut oil, olive oil or lemon essence oil over the rashes not only provides comfort to the child from itchiness of the rashes on the skin but also help in accentuating the healing process as they have antimicrobial properties.
- Application of neem oil or a paste of it over the rashes and blisters of HFMD helps in faster healing and have been used from hundreds of years as an effective antiviral and antimicrobial agent.
- Aloe Vera gel can be applied over the skin blisters that has vitamins and minerals beneficial for the skin. It has antimicrobial properties and also boosts immunity.
- Basil or tulsi leaves known for it's medicinal properties can be grounded into paste and applied over the rashes. It's juice can also be taken two or three times a day for faster healing of HFMD.
- Adding a spoonful of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and rinsing with it helps fight infection as the inulin in Apple cider vinegar improves white blood cell count that fight against the viruses.
- Drinking cold beverages or sucking a ice containing popsicle or eating an ice cream helps soothe the discomfort from mouth and throat ulcers.
Hope the article provides the required information regarding hand foot and mouth disease. Do leave your experience and comments in the link provided below.