It's tough to see your kid suffer from any illness, but one that produces rashes and ulcers all over the body is potentially alarming. So if your kid gets diagnosed with hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD), the resulting blisters can be concerning. That's why you should know how to treat HFMD in kids, because it's a common illness among the pre-K set. Thankfully, there's a lot you can do to soothe this condition.
Also known as the coxsackie virus, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a viral infection that can cause sores, blisters, or a rash to develop around the mouth, hands, feet, and other areas, according to WebMD. HFMD most commonly affects children younger than five years of age, because they don't yet have immunity against the virus, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although the blisters and rashes may alarm parents, HFMD is typically not a serious disease, and most people recover from it within a week to 10 days, as further explained by the CDC. That said, there is no cure for HFMD, but home care can make your child more comfortable during the recovery process, as explained by KidsHealth. Here are some simple ways you can help treat the symptoms of HFMD as your child recovers.
1. Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
Although it isn't typically a serious illness, HFMD can cause some discomfort. If HFMD is making your kid itchy or uncomfortable, then some over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol may offer relief, according to WebMD. Just don't give children aspirin, because this may cause serious illnesses, as further noted by WebMD.
2. Numbing Mouth Sprays
If the blisters show up in the back of your child's mouth or tongue, they can be quite painful. Numbing mouth sprays may relieve some of this pain, according to WebMD. If you're concerned about the right dosage amount for your kid, ask your pediatrician for advice.
3. Cold Foods
This is probably the most enjoyable treatment method. Cold foods such as smoothies, ice cream, and popsicles will help numb those painful mouth blisters, as noted in KidsHealth. On the other hand, avoid hot or acidic foods, which can make the blisters more painful.
4. Keep Blisters Clean
Blistered hands and feet may need a little extra care as well. Wash the blistered areas with warm soap and water, and keep those areas uncovered, as noted on KidsHealth. As long as the blisters are intact, it looks like they don't need a bandage.
5. Antibiotic Ointment
It's gross, but sometimes the HFMD blisters can burst. If a blister pops, put some antibiotic ointment on the area and bandage it, as explained in KidsHealth. This will help prevent infection.
Mouth blisters can make your kid reluctant to drink enough water for the day. So it's extra-important to make sure your kid doesn't get dehydrated by drinking enough water or other fluids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
7. Anti-Itch Lotion
Those blisters and rashes can get itchy and annoying. An anti-itch lotion may offer some relief, according to WebMD. Stock up on a bottle of Calamine lotion. With this and other treatments, hopefully your kid will be over this disease in no time.