Hand-foot-mouth disease has also been called hoof-and-mouth disease. It is a viral infection that is extremely contagious among children. The typical incubation period is 3-7 days before breakout’s begin to appear. The mouth is usually the first place the blisters begin to appear and then the hands and the feet. Since hand-foot-mouth disease is a viral infection, you cannot treat it. There are ways to treat the symptoms, however.
1. Take your child’s temperature. If your child has a fever you will want to administer Advil or Tylenol to bring the fever down. Follow the directions on the bottle to know how much medicine to dispense to your child. Advil seems to work quicker and more effectively than Tylenol so you may want to try that first.
2. Give your child fluids. If your child has mouth sores, you are going to want to encourage them to drink. Sodas and juices will only irritate their throats so stick to water and milk products. Fluids are important in keeping their body as healthy as possible so it can naturally fight off the infection.
3. Have your child gargle. Doctor’s recommend the old fashioned salt water remedy. Salt is excellent at killing germs and can increase the time it takes for the sores to improve. Your doctor can also prescribe a product called Magic Mouthwash. It doesn’t have any healing properties, but it is a numbing solution; basically it is prescribed to help with the pain. Your child can do both.
4. Keep your child’s hands and feet clean at all times. You may even want to apply some aloe, which is a natural healer. If you have an aloe plant, that is best, but they do make some aloe gel sold at health food stores.
5. Keep your child home and as comfortable as possible. Once the symptoms appear they can take 5 to 7 days to heal. Your child is contagious and should be kept home away from other people.