This post is also available in: Svenska
Hand, foot and mouth disease, is a viral infection that causes blisters in the mouth and blisters or dark rashes on the hands and feet. Hence the name, hand, foot and mouth. And in Swedish it translates to Autumn blisters as the disease often becomes an epidemic in the autumn, especially among kindergarten children.
Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease
Fever, blisters in the mouth and rashes or blisters on the hands and feet are typical symptoms. The rash on the hands and feet can itch and hurt. Sometimes blisters can form under the nails and the nails can fall off within a few weeks of having the disease. This isn’t dangerous. The nails will grow back.
Blisters in the mouth can hurt. Read more about what to do in the post titled Mouth blisters in children at barnakuten.nu.
In rare cases, the virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease can also cause meningitis. It is often benign and transient. Symptoms include headache, sensitivity to light, nausea and whining. If your child gets these symptoms, seek the pediatric emergency room.
What to do about hand, foot and mouth disease?
It is important that your child drinks plenty of fluid. If your child is in pain, you need to coax them with liquid or ice cream. If the child does not drink, becomes dull and stops urinating, you need to seek the emergency room.
With the blisters on your hands and feet, you will just have to wait it out. Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen if the blisters hurt. There is no medication to treat hand, foot and mouth disease, so it makes no sense to seek medical care for that reason. If the child is alert and drinks fluids, no medical care is needed.
Hand, foot and mouth disease spread in kindergartens
Hand, foot and mouth disease is highly contagious. There is nothing you can do to prevent the infection in a preschool where an outbreak is taking place. There is therefore no medical reason to allow children to stay at home if they are able to participate in the daily activities at the preschool.
The incubation period for hand, foot and mouth disease is 3-7 days.
Nails may fall off
After a child has blistered, there have been occurrences where the nails have fallen off. It looks strange, but it’s not dangerous. Normal nails grow back.
What causes hand, foot and mouth disease?
Several different viruses from the enterovirus group can cause the disease. The most common one is the cocksackie virus.
Not sure what your child has? Read the popular red spots and rashes in children – a visual guide Blisters in the mouth in children Meningitis in children – fever, headache, neck stiffness or sore neckChickenpox in children – infection, patterns, incubation periodImpetigo in children – infection and treatment