Saturday, April 18

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

No, I am not referring to the sometimes fatal viral disease affecting livestock.

Earlier this week my 8 month old developed 102 degree fever but had no other symptoms of sickness. He remained feverish all day and night so the next day I took him to the pediatrician. His only symptoms were a high fever, loss of appetite, and a few small spots on his feet and hands. The doctor looked in his throat and confirmed that it was full of lesions. When she first told me he had hand, foot and mouth disease my heart leaped into my throat, but then she assured me it was in no way related to Hoof and Mouth Disease in cattle and horses. Whew!

Since it is viral, there is no treatment. It simply has to run it's course, usually around a week. Symptoms include fever; loss of appetite; sore throat and mouth; difficulty swallowing; lesions in mouth, then fingers, feet, bottom, and chin. As is the case with any fever, hydration is most important so keep the fluids flowing! I alternated Tylenol and Motrin to keep his temperature down. Our pediatrician recommended mixing 1/4 teaspoon each of Maalox and Benadryl and giving every 4 - 6 hours. This was only for relief on his tender throat. It does not speed up the recovery process. Let me emphasize this, I am in NO way a doctor! I am only repeating what our doctor recommended so if your child develops a high fever always call your pediatrician to confirm a diagnosis.

There is no vaccine for this virus and it can recur so my advice is to be an adamant hand washer and encourage your children to be too. Obviously 8 months is a little young to be washing hands by oneself, but make sure you do it for them :) !


  1. Hi there Amanda!

    Thank you so much for visiting me and leaving such a nice comment:)

    I hope your child recovers quickly too--I think it is harder on the parent then the child when the child is Ill.

    have a nice day.


  2. My oldest hadthis as an infant, it sure is scary if you don't know what it is! Praying your baby is all better now!

  3. I am totally nuts about washing my grandsons hands to the point of when they see the wash cloth they run:) Thankfully the petting zoo at our Zoo has outdoor washing stations with soap posted around the facility.