Surviving Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

Hello and happy Friday folks! Hope all of you are had a great week. Hubs and I had a recent brush with a toddler illness unlike any other: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Yup, it’s a real thing! A real scary thing. It’s a horrific and, unfortunately common,toddler illness.

What the heck is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, you ask?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, mouth sores, and a skin rash.”

I wasn’t too familiar with HFMD prior to Isa getting it. Though I vaguely remember reading another mommy blogger I follow a while back, describing her little one’s experience with it. Describing our experience in 1 word: Brutal. This is one of the most gnarly, grossy-gross viruses out there! It broke our hearts seeing our baby girl so miserable and inspired this post.

We initially didn’t notice anything with Isabella that was out of the norm or cause for concern until the virus hit full force.

The Symptoms

The rash. This came almost immediately. It first appeared as a few little red bumps, two to be exact, right around Isabella’s belly button followed by what I thought were just flushed cheeks, but quickly realized after a closer look, was a rash much like what you see with an allergic reaction or even Asthma. A few more red bumps popped up on her chin and one on her lip.

Day 1: The Rashes
Day 5: The rashes turned into blisters

Oh, how we couldn’t have been more wrong. Once the fever came back it caused a flare up with the rash, which then turned into patches of blisters covering most of her arms, legs, both hands and feet. Worst of all, they were on her lips and inside of her mouth. That was enough for us to just bring her to the closest pediatric urgent care and from there she was diagnosed her as having HFMD.

Since HFMD is most contagious during the incubation period, sending her back to daycare wasn’t an option. When we followed up with her pediatrician, he strongly suggested we air on the side of caution by keeping her home for a week and wrote a script for “Magic Mouthwash”. I know…I actually chuckled a lil seeing it written on the bottle’s label. Here’s a recipe for this “magic” concoction.

Prevention & Treatment

There isn’t a vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause HFMD nor is there a specific treatment for it. However, there are a few things you can do to combat the symptoms and contain the spread.

  • Consult your child’s doctor.
  • DO keep your little one hydrated. Cool fluids and foods help sooth mouth sores. Ice pops and ice cream also may help. Check out kid-friendly ice pop recipes here and here.
  • DON’T give your child spicy or acidic foods and drinks, such as tomato sauce or orange juice. These foods can irritate mouth sores.
  • DO give your child acetaminophen like Tylenol or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to reduce fever and pain relief.
  • DON’T give your child aspirin! It’s been linked to Reye Syndrome, a pretty serious disease. No Bueno!
  • DO wash your hands! And do it often, especially after touching a blister or changing diapers (which should be standard practice).
  • DON’T let your child share toys or eating utensils and try (being the operative word) not to give kisses while he or she is infected.
  • DO apply hydro-cortisone cream or calamine lotion to blisters to help relieve itchy skin.

It’s been almost three weeks and Isabella seems to have made a full recovery. Thank the Lord! The sores in her mouth are gone and the scabs from the blisters have all fallen off. I hope this information was super helpful. Thanks for reading and have a FABULOUS weekends, lovelies!

Advertisements