There’s a disease that tends to make its presence known wherever there are groups of children. Like the common cold, it’s spread around through direct contact, which children are getting a lot more of now that they’re back in school. And this fall, along with ideas about science, math, technology, and the arts, kids are sharing the virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease.
At Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, we find that parents usually have a lot of questions about this disease. Well, we were taught in school that no question is a dumb one – so here are some common questions and answers about hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFM) from our expert podiatrists, Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts and Dr. Heidi M. Christie.
Q: What are the symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth?
A: The first signs of the disease include a fever and a sore throat. Since these are symptoms of other conditions, HFM might not be your first thought. What differentiates HFM from other infections are the symptoms that follow:
- painful blisters in the mouth or on the tongue
- a rash on the hands and feet, which sometimes progress into blisters
- no appetite and/or difficulty swallowing
- stomach ache
- just feeling lousy in general
Q: Are children the only ones who get it?
A: HFM is most common in young children, ages 10 and under. Older kids and adults generally have built up a resistance to the virus, but itis possible for them to be infected.
Q: Is it contagious?
A: Yes! Kids contract HFM just as they do the common cold, the stomach bug, and other things that spread through classrooms like wildfire – through person-to-person contact, by touching infected surfaces, or by being on the wet end of a cough or sneeze.
Q: How long does it last?
A: About 7-10 days.
Q: Should I call the doctor?
A: Keep your child comfortable with acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and soothing liquids to keep them hydrated. If symptoms are bad, worsen, or your child is extremely uncomfortable or isn’t eating and drinking, then yes, consult a health professional.
Blisters on your child’s feet may or may not be hand, foot, & mouth disease. If you need help figuring it out, contact us online or give Montgomery Foot Care Specialists in Montgomery, AL a call at (334) 396-3668.