Hand foot and mouth disease Treatment in toddlers

What is hand foot and mouth disease?



Hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a contagious viral infection that causes blisters on the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Blisters in the mouth that resembles a thrush can be painful when eating, drinking, and swallowing. Disease is commonly prevailing among toddlers. Usually there are blisters in the mouth, palms, fingers and soles of the feet. There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Clean and healthy living behavior needs to be practiced to prevent transmission and usually treatment using paracetamol and other home remedies to relieve the symptoms such as fever and pain.
According to World Health Organisation: "Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common infectious disease that occurs most often in children, but can occur in adolescents and occasionally in adults. In most cases, the disease is mild and self limiting, but more severe clinical presentation with neurological symptoms such as meningitis, encephalitis and polio-like paralysis may occur." (WHO, 2011)

Hand foot and mouth disease in toddlers

What causes hand foot and mouth disease


disease caused by a virus of the genus Enterovirus. Enterovirus species most frequent cause of HFMD is Coxsackievirus and Human Enterovirus 71 (HEV 71).

Someone can be infected by this virus when exposed to saliva, mucus and sputum of patients, as well as grains of saliva they secrete when sneezing or coughing. In addition, faeces and fluid from blisters on the skin could also be an intermediary for the transmission of this virus. 
Generally, coxsackie virus entry via the gastrointestinal tract.

Hand foot and mouth disease symptoms

HFMD usually starts with a fever, sore throat, decreased appetite, and pain / malaise. After one to two days of fever, raised red spots in the oral cavity (generally begins at the back of the palate), which was then divided into canker sores.

Then, 1-2 days arise skin rashes and red spots on the palms and soles. Although the mucous membrane and skin abnormalities on HFMD mainly involve the mouth, hands and feet, but the rash may also arise in the legs, arms, buttocks and the skin around the genitals. 

Adults and people with compromised immune systems may well be infected with HFMD virus but show no symptoms at all (asymptomatic). This group is not a group but as potential sufferers (carrier) HFMD virus and spread the virus.

Hand foot and mouth disease contagious

Children aged 10 years and below are more contagious to this disease.
People with HFMD HFMD virus can spread through secretions / nasal discharge (runny nose), throat (saliva, sputum), skin lesions were broken, and from feces.

The spread is apt to occur when there is close contact with the patient (talking, hugging, kissing), over the air (sneezing, cough), contact with the feces of the patient, and contact with objects or surfaces contaminated by the virus HFMD (hand on the handle, tabletops, the virus contaminated furniture, etc.).

People with HFMD is generally a very infectious virus in the first week of illness. Some patients even still transmit the virus a few days or weeks after the signs and symptoms of the infection is gone.

Hand foot and mouth disease Complications


Although generally exhibit mild symptoms, but in some cases, HFMD can cause severe complications. Lesions in the mouth can cause trouble drinking and eating so that the child is dehydrated.

Some reports mention severe HFMD cases such as meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and encephalitis that results in the patient should be treated intensively or even lead to death. Some research shows 71 HEV is the most common strains causing HFMD weight. 

Several other case reports showed HFMD can cause complications such as loss of fingernails and feet and occur several weeks after the acute phase of HFMD. Nonetheless, this abnormality is temporary and the nail can grow back.

How to prevent hand foot and mouth disease

Until now, has not found a vaccine to prevent HFMD. Therefore, patients with HFMD should be isolated to prevent further spread. Extraordinary events / outbreaks can occur in various countries and is more common in some countries in Southeast Asia, especially in closed environments and dense such as schools, orphanages, dormitories, boarding schools, and daycare. Clean and healthy living behavior needs to be practiced to prevent transmission.

Efforts to prevent HFMD infections can be done by not remove saliva and any touching mouth and eyes, nose and mouth shut familiarize when coughing and sneezing, as well as cleaning hands after touching dirty surfaces and before eating.

May be prevented by practicing hand washing with soap and water after any contact with the patient
Let washed contaminated surfaces and dirty equipment by clean water and soap.


Hand foot and mouth disease treatment 

There is no specific treatment for HFMD, symptomatic treatment to control the symptoms caused. Paracetamol can be given for fever and pain. Warm compresses and provision of drinking more often also helps reduce fever children. In older children, rinse your mouth with mouthwash may reduce pain from injuries in the mouth.

Using Salt water used for rinsing also can help. Use  ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass of lukewarm water in case the child should gargle it. Make sure children drink plenty of water.

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