Your child had a fever but now has rashes all over his mouth, palms and sole of the feet. You panic and jump to conclusions confusing it with chicken pox.
Last year, in Pune there was an unexpectedly high number of cases of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) seen in children below 5years of age. However, there were reports that the number of cases of HFMD was high in children below three years.
What exactly is Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:
Hand Foot and Mouth Disease or HFMD is a viral disease. It is a viral infection caused by the virus Coxsackievirus A16. Though anyone can get this disease, children 5 years and below are most likely to be affected. Children are more vulnerable to get this disease when there is a season change from spring to autumn.
HFMD is a contagious disease. It can easily spread from an infected child through coughing and sneezing. It also spreads through a contaminated toy, doorknob or any surface which may have the virus like the tabletops. There have been instances of infection through the skin to skin contacts like a handshake and hugs.
How to recognise HFMD:
The disease starts with a fever, sore throat and low appetite. The child may feel lethargic. Blisters similar to cold sores appear on the back portion of the mouth and tongue. These are very painful and hurt while a child swallows food. After a day or two from the first symptoms, rashes on the soles and palms start appearing. These rashes turn into painful blisters. There may be the presence of sores on the buttocks, elbows and knees.
All these could be present in a child or only one or two symptoms may be present.
How Can a Child Suffering From HFMD Get Relief:
HFMD is a self-limiting disease and goes on its own in 7-10 days. There is no known vaccine or treatment for HFMD. However, medicines for fever and pain can be taken but only on doctor’s recommendation. While taking care of a child with HFMD, the following points should be kept in mind:
- Regular cleaning of hands
- A warm bath for rashes
- Avoid salty, fried, and spicy food
- Opt for bland and semisolid foods like Khichdi
- To avoid dehydration, the liquid intake should be increased
- Yoghurt, cold popsicles to soothe the sore throat
- Surroundings should be clean and sanitized
- Children should be educated not to put their hands and other objects in their mouths
- The child should not be sent to school
- Seek doctor’s advice for rashes or in case of an increase of fever, weakness, lethargy and vomiting
Since it involves rashes, sometimes hand foot and mouth disease is confused with chickenpox. However, it should be noted that the rashes in HFMD do not cause itching whereas the rashes in chickenpox are cause mild itching. Another difference is the colour and location of the blisters. The blisters of HFMD are yellow and red and appear on the mouth, palms, and soles. Whereas, the blisters of chickenpox are clear and appear on the back and abdomen. Both conditions are caused by different viruses.
Please Note: All the information has been sourced from the internet. Also, please consult your doctor before following anything that is mentioned here.
A – Autism
B – Bronchiolitis
C – Celiac Disease
D – Dyslexia
E – Eating Disorders
F – Fever
G – GERD