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Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Disponible En Espanol


Care at Home

  • LIQUID ANTACID FOR MOUTH PAIN:   * For mouth pain, use a liquid antacid such as Mylanta or the store brand. Give 4 times per day as needed. After meals often is a good time. Age: For children over 1 year old. * For children over age 6, can use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) as a mouth wash. Keep it on the ulcers as long as possible. Then can spit it out or swallow it. * For younger children age 1 to 6, put a few drops in the mouth. Can also put it on with a cotton swab. * Caution: Do not use regular mouth washes, because they sting.
  • SOFT DIET: * Try to get your child to drink adequate fluids. * Goal: Keep your child well hydrated. * Cold drinks, milk shakes, popsicles, slushes, and sherbet are good choices. * Solids. Offer a soft diet. Also avoid foods that need much chewing. Do not give citrus, salty, or spicy foods. Note: Fluid intake is more important than eating any solids. * For babies, you may need to stop the bottle. Give fluids by cup, spoon or syringe instead. Reason: The nipple can increase the pain.
  • PAIN MEDICINE: * To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
  • RETURN TO SCHOOL:   * HFMD is easily spread to others. * However, it's a mild and harmless illness. * After contact with HFMD, children come down with symptoms in 3-6 days.   * Can return to child care or school after the fever is gone. Most often, this takes 2 to 3 days.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT:   * Fever lasts 2 or 3 days. * Mouth ulcers should go away by 7 days. * Rash on the hands and feet lasts 10 days. The rash on the hands and feet may then peel.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Signs of dehydration occur * Fever lasts more than 3 days * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Most often, hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a harmless rash. * It is caused by a virus called Coxsackie. * Here is some care advice that should help.
  • FEVER: * For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. See Dose Table. Note: Lower fevers are important for fighting infections. * For ALL fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids. * For babies, dress lightly. Don't wrap in too many blankets. Reason: Can make the fever higher.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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