Common Signs of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease and Ways to Avoid It

Common Signs of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease and Ways to Avoid It

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is one of the common viral infections among infants and toddlers. It’s caused by a virus named coxsackievirus


According to the World Health Organization, it’s a mild viral infection that rarely escalates into something serious. There is curretnly no specific treatment for it.


Now, it may be classified as a mild condition. However, it remains highly contagious, so much so that even adolescents and adults may catch and transmit the virus. It can spread through direct contact with an infected person, transmitted through their saliva, salivary droplets, and stool. 


Hand-foot-and-mouth disease manifests itself through sores or blisters inside the mouth and rashes on the hands, feet, and buttocks. Before it reaches this stage, though, there are common symptoms that every parent needs to watch out for. 


Below are a list of the common symptoms of HFMD.


Common symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease


For the first two days, you may notice a fever of 38 to 39º Celsius, coupled with mild sore throat, stomach pain, and a loss of appetite. 


If all these are present at the same time or simultaneously, it’s a telling sign that your child has hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Parents can easily notice when their children aren’t their usual energetic and jumpy selves too, and that’s another common sign. 


A few days after the fever begins, painful sores will likely develop in the front of the mouth or throat. Make it a habit to regularly check the inside of your child’s mouth just to see if the sores have started appearing. 


The discomfort that comes with the sores can be relieved by sucking on ice pops, eating sherbet, drinking cold beverages, and rinsing the mouth after every meal. It’s best to stay away from salty and spicy foods, citrus fruits, and sodas. 


Within a day or two after the sores appear, rashes on the hands, feet, and buttocks will follow suit.  There are some cases where the sores and rashes appear at the same time, making it a lot more uncomfortable for children. 


There are sores that develop in the back of the mouth and throat, but those suggest that your child may have been infected with herpangina. It’s a different viral disease that shares some of the symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, with the addition of drooling and vomiting. 


How to avoid hand-foot-and-mouth disease


There’s nothing to worry about when your child catches hand-foot-and-mouth disease because it’s extremely common among those 7 and below and in child-care settings. 


Aside from frequent diaper changes, most children are just starting to toilet train and still aren’t aware of the importance of washing hands properly. Children love putting their hands in their mouths too. 


There are precautions that parents can follow to reduce the chances of their child getting the virus that causes the hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Here are some of them:


  • Teach good hygiene. One of the most effective ways to prevent catching any type of virus is washing hands thoroughly and carefully. As early as now, children should be taught the value of washing hands before and after eating. Explain to them that putting their hands inside their mouths is bad for their health. 



  • Maintain a well-ventilated space. There’s a wide range of germs and viruses circulating inside our homes, including the virus that causes hand-foot-and-mouth disease. According to the technicians, ceiling fans paired with exhaust fans are among the best ways to maintain good ventilation in a home. 



Opening your ceiling fans and windows once in a while are some of the ways to ensure that germs and viruses don't get stuck inside your homes. Letting fresh air inside your home can purge all the pathogens that have been floating around your home. 



  • Disinfect common areas. Parents need to develop a habit of cleaning high-traffic areas and surfaces regularly: twice a day, if possible. If you’re running a child care centre, it’s a must to follow a strict schedule of disinfecting areas where children usually hang around to play. Items that children usually share with others must be cleaned regularly as well. 



Note that this means you should disinfect your fridge regularly too. According to the people at a fridge repair company in Singapore, a lot of their clients mistakenly believe that germs or viruses can’t live inside the fridge. In truth, a fair number can, especially in areas that kids regularly touch… like the parts of your fridge that aren’t at actual freezing temperature.



  • Keep contagious people away. Children with hand-foot-and-mouth disease are contagious during the first week of illness. If your child has started showing symptoms, keep them at home to avoid infecting other children at the care centre. 



To conclude, parents don’t need to panic when their children start showing signs of hand-foot-and-mouth disease because it’s a common illness among children. It can be treated at home too, without the need to spend on expensive medications.


Your child will experience discomfort for the first few days of having it, but remind them that it will go away sooner than they think.


It’s your job as parents to be alert to the signs of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. But remember, educating your children about the value of good hygiene and creating a clean and safe environment for them are still the ideal ways to protect them.


Once again, we would like to thank Localleadsco ( who helped us in writing another article for us. If you have missed out on the previous article written by them, click the link here:

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