If you have ever sent your child to daycare you would have invariably heard about an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth (HFM).
So what is it and how do we manage it?
HFM is a highly contagious viral disease (mainly coxsackie virus A16) that is most common in children. Symptoms often manifest 3-7 days after making contact with the virus.
It often presents with fevers, sore throat (poor feeding in babies), lethargy and the characteristic small blisters inside the mouth, hands and feet, however it is not to uncommon to find blisters appearing in other areas.
These blisters contain fluid that can be easily passed on from one person to the other so hygeine is most important. We often keep children home till blisters are dried up which is when a child is no longer contagious.
As HFM is a viral illness treatment is just supportive. Simple paracetamol/ibuprofen for fevers and pain as well as fluids are usually the mainstay of treatment.
Pregnant mothers will often ask us if there is any risk to their unborn child. The simple answer is NO.
Adults to can get hand foot and mouth and case are usually more severe but much rarer.
We encourage all parents to see their family doctor whenever their child is unwell.
The advice provided on healthykid.com.au is of a general nature and in no way should replace your therapeutic relationship with your doctor