5 Effective Prevention for Hand Foot and Mouth Diseases
Children frequently contract hand foot and mouth diseases, which result in blisters, rashes, or sores on their hands, feet, legs, or buttocks, in addition to lesions called ulcers within or around their mouths. It may hurt, but it’s not a severe condition. It differs from foot-and-mouth disease, caused by a different virus, and exclusively affects animals
Coxsackievirus a16 and enterovirus 71 are the viruses that typically cause hand foot and mouth. Anyone can have the disease, but children under five have the highest risk of contracting it. It usually spreads quickly in the summer and autumn.
What are the Symptoms of hand foot and mouth diseases?
The following symptoms of hand foot and mouth disease can be present or absent. They comprise:
- Fever: Children often get a fever and other flu-like symptoms 3 to 5 days after they catch the virus.
- Sore throat.
- Feeling sick.
- Fussiness in infants and toddlers.
- Loss of appetite.
- Mouth sores hurt and resemble blisters on the cheek, mouth, and tongue. They typically begin as tiny red patches that blister and can become uncomfortable. Your child might not consume anything and experience drooling, only wanting to consume cold beverages.
- Skin rash: The palms of your child’s hands and the bottoms of their feet may develop a skin rash. It can also manifest on the arms, legs, and buttocks. The rash is typically not itchy and appears as flat or barely raised red dots, occasionally with blisters with a red region at the base. The virus that causes Hand, foot, and mouth disease is present in the fluid in the blister and the scab that develops after the blister heals.
What are the causes of hand, foot, and mouth diseases?
1)Person-to-person contact: Viral infections cause hand, foot, and mouth diseases. When a person has one of these viruses, they are infectious and can spread to others. The first week of illness is typically the most contagious period for those with hand foot and mouth disease. Sometimes, even after symptoms subside, people can still transmit the virus to others.
The virus can spread to others through an infected person;
- Nose and throat secretions, such as saliva, drool, or nasal mucus
- Fluid from blisters or scabs
- Feces (poop)
2)Respiratory droplets containing virus particles when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
3)Contact with contaminated surfaces and objects.
How do hand foot and mouth diseases spread?
- Contact with respiratory droplets containing virus particles after a sick person coughs or sneezes
- Get close to an infected individual via touching, kissing, hugging, or sharing cups or dining utensils.
- Changing diapers, for example, and touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after touching someone else’s contaminated excrement.
- Put your hands on toys or other items with the virus before contacting your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Rarely ingesting recreational water, such as pool water, can expose you to viruses. It could occur if the water is not chlorinated appropriately and picks up excrement from a person with hand foot and mouth disease.
How are hand foot and mouth diseases diagnosed?
The blisters might help your doctor determine the ailment. On rare occasions, a doctor will order a lab test to check for the virus using samples from blisters, feces, or throat swabs. Before booking an appointment with your doctor, let them know whether you or your kid have recently gotten exposed to the virus. Your doctor might suggest treatments via the phone or computer during a “virtual” telemedicine consultation to safeguard the health of other patients.
How do you prevent hand foot and mouth diseases?
There are several strategies to reduce your child’s chance of contracting hand foot and mouth disease:
- Wash your hands frequently: Spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands. After using the restroom or changing a diaper, make sure to wash your hands. Additionally, wash your hands after spitting, sneezing, coughing, and preparing or eating food. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not accessible.
- Instill the importance of excellent hygiene: Teach your kids to wash their hands and assist them frequently. Show them the basics of healthy hygiene. Tell them why it’s preferable not to put their hands, fingers, or other objects in their mouths.
- Clean up public places: First, use soap and water to clean surfaces and areas with heavy traffic. After that, clean with water and diluted bleach solution. Keep to a tight cleaning and disinfection routine if you work in a childcare facility. The virus can survive for days on surfaces in shared spaces, such as on doorknobs and goods like toys used by everyone.
- Avoid making close contact. People with the condition should limit their exposure to others while they have symptoms since hand foot and mouth disease is very contagious. After the fever has subsided and the mouth sores have healed, keep sick youngsters away from daycare centers and schools. Avoid going to work if you have an illness.
What are the complications of hand foot and mouth diseases?
Hand foot and mouth disease rarely has complications. These problems can occasionally happen:
- Dehydration: Mouth sores can make eating and drinking uncomfortable. To avoid becoming dehydrated, consume enough liquids.
- Nail loss: Some persons who contract the virus lose a few fingernails or toenails. The nails regrow.
- Viral meningitis and encephalitis occur in a tiny percentage of persons with Hand foot and mouth disease. Due to these uncommon illnesses, the brain and spinal cord membranes can expand dangerously, resulting in encephalitis (meningitis).
Other complications are Swelling of the heart muscle (myocarditis) and Paralysis.
How can you treat hand foot and mouth diseases?
The best course of action if you have hand foot and mouth disease is to rest at home until you feel better. You may take things to reduce the symptoms in yourself or your child. Hand foot and mouth diseases don’t have a standard treatment, and the following are a few remedies for hand foot and mouth diseases.
- Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration; the best options are water and milk. It would be best to consider giving your child smaller, more frequent bottles or breast milk feeds.
- If swallowing and eating are painful, consume soft meals like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soups. Avoid foods and beverages that are spicy, acidic, or hot.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve a sore throat and fever. Children under 16 years old shouldn’t receive aspirin.
- Gargling warm, salty water can help you feel better if you have mouth ulcers. Young children shouldn’t use this because it’s crucial to avoid swallowing the combination.
- Use oral gels, rinses, or sprays instead of antibiotics to treat mouth ulcers; these are sold in pharmacies but are not advisable, and some aren’t safe for small children. Consult your pharmacist for guidance, and read the directions before using these products.
You should keep your child out of nursery or school until they feel better. Adults should avoid working until they feel better if they have the disorder. Other remedies include:
- Eating ice cream or sherbet.
- Drinking cold beverages.
- Limiting citrus fruits, fruit drinks, and soda.
- Limiting spicy or salty foods.
When should you seek medical help for hand foot and mouth diseases?
If you suspect that you or your child has Hand, foot, and mouth disease, you often do not need medical attention. The infection will often clear up in 7 to 10 days, and your doctor won’t be able to do anything about it. Since a virus causes Hand foot and mouth illness, antibiotics will be ineffective. You should get medical help if;
- Your kid is refusing or unable to consume any liquids.
- Your child exhibits symptoms of dehydration, including lethargy, passing only a tiny amount of urine or none, and having cold hands and feet.
- The onset of fits (seizures), confusion, weakness, or loss of consciousness in your child.
- If your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38°C (101°F) or above, or your child is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39°C (102°F), or there is a pus discharge. If the symptoms worsen and haven’t subsided after seven to ten days, seek medical attention immediately.
In summary, hand foot and mouth diseases (Hand, foot, and mouth diseases) is a common viral infection that causes painful red blisters in the mouth and throat and on the hands, feet, and diaper area. The coxsackievirus brings on most Hand foot and mouth diseases infections.
Hand foot and mouth diseases are transmittable by touch with unclean hands, feces (poop), saliva (spit), nasal mucus, or blister fluid due to their contagious nature. Hand foot and mouth diseases are most common in children under the age of 7. Infections are frequent in schools, summer camps, daycare facilities, preschools, and other settings where children congregate in close quarters.
Children can become dehydrated since it aches to swallow water and frequently has a fever for a few days in addition to the blisters. Children typically fully recover within a week to ten days of the symptoms disappearing. Hand foot and mouth diseases have no known treatment, and there is no vaccine to prevent them. However, your doctor may suggest home care to help your kid feel more comfortable while recovering.