Hand-Foot-Mouth disease: What do parents need to know?

Updated: Feb 29

HFMD is a very common, mild viral infection seen in kids below 10 years of age. There is no one virus that causes it but it’s a group of viruses of which Coxackievirus A16 and enterovirus 71 are the most common ones.


What are the symptoms?


It begins as any viral infection with fever, sore throat, poor appetite and feeling unwell. One or two days after the fever sets in the rashes began to appear usually around the mouth, hands and feet.

The rashes are sore to touch and may itch a lot. They might also develop into blisters with fluid discharge. The rashes resolve by itself after a week and so does the fever and sore throat. Complications like meningitis following this disease is very very rare.


Spread and immunity


HFMD is highly contagious and since the initial symptoms are so vague it’s hard to identify someone suffering from it. Usually kids in daycare/ school spread to each other unknowingly. It spreads through:


 Saliva

 Nasal secreations

 Fluid from blisters

 Stools

 Respiratory droplets (while coughing or sneezing)


As kids get older, the antibody build up makes them immune but it is possible for some adolescents and adults also to suffer from it.


Treatment and Prevention


Since this is a viral infection, there is no specific treatment for it.

ANTIBIOTICS SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN.

Preventive measures


 Keep your child away from public places if you suspect HFMD

 Frequent hand washing and general hygiene may prevent transmission

 Eat nutritious food so that the immune system can fight the virus

 Diapers should be disposed off in sealed bags.


General measures


 Salt water and turmeric gargles for sore throat

 For younger children honey water can also be given to drink instead of gargles

 Keep the child well hydrated

 Do not give fever reducing medicine (like paracetamol or ibuprofen) for fevers below 102 C or without doctor’s recommendation.

 If the child is refusing to eat regular food, offer liquid diet like soups in small quantities

 Homeopathic calendula cream or calamine lotion can be applied on blisters for relief from pain and itching.


Homeopathic treatment for HFMD


Homeopathy is gentle, safe and effective against HFMD. It not only helps reduce the severity of symptoms but also helps in reducing the duration of the illness. It also provides symptomatic relief from pain, sore throat and itching. There are many remedies that can be used to treat HFMD inhomeopathy and it is important to select the right one for your child. The most common ones that come up are:


1. Rhus tox


Skin eruptions with lot of itching, restlessness and thirst for cold/ normal temperature water. The onset of the illness is usually around change of weather.


2. Merc Solubilis

Blisters are large with watery discharge. Sore throat with lot of salivation and enlarged glands at the neck.


3. Belladona

High fever where the head and body is hot but hands and feet are cold. Throat looks red, inflamed and is painful.


Disclaimer:

The content in this blog is purely for educational purposes only and does not replace professional medical advice.





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