Does your little one suddenly have angry red blisters inside the mouth, and on the skin of the hands and feet? Do these leave them uncomfortable and sometimes screaming in pain?
Hand, Foot and Mouth disease has recently made a recurrence in Sri Lanka, and we are seeing a lot of reported cases around the country. Mainly affecting toddlers and children, the Hand, Foot and Mouth disease can also be contracted by adults, yet very rarely.
What is this Hand, Foot and Mouth disease?
Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is a moderately contagious viral infection, which is spread by direct contact from person to person. It’s known to begin with a mild fever, followed by small red spots in the insides of the cheeks, gums and sides of the tongue. At the same time, rashes will also develop on the palms, fingers and soled of the feet. These will last between 7 – 10 days, and will then disappear, with no recorded complications.
How to manage Hand, Foot and Mouth disease?
The treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease is based on the symptoms, and it is strongly advised to consult a pediatrician if the symptoms such as spots in the mouth and rashes in hand and foot are visible in the child. However, it is medically recommended to use a cooling lotion, with soothing ingredients such as witch hazel and calamine (Such as Lacto Lotion) to manage the rashes on the skin. The lotion will also help in avoiding scarring of skin and itchiness.
How to avoid Hand, Foot and Mouth disease?
Being a viral infection, that is spread from person to person, hygiene is crucial in avoiding Hand, Foot and Mouth disease in children. It is recommended for children and care givers to frequently wash their hands, specially after visiting public spaces an using public transport. It is also advised not to let children have close contact with other children who are suspected to have Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, such as hugging, and sharing utensils etc. If, your child is suspected to have Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, it is recommended that the child is kept home away from school and public areas until the symptoms wear off, to avoid transmission.
Children generally become immune towards Hand, Foot and Mouth disease after the first infection, yet find it a very uncomfortable disease to have if infected. It is advised, always, to focus on effective hygiene practices for your children to keep them safe from such viral infections.
Written by Shana