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What Parents Need to Know About Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

As your child explores and learns more about their surroundings, certain ailments are bound to occur. Rashes are common among children, but can have side effects or be contagious. If a suspicious-looking rash is creeping up your child’s hand and feet and appearing around their mouth, they may have hand, foot and mouth disease. Most common in toddlers and children under the age of five, hand, foot and mouth disease is highly contagious to both children and adults who come into contact with the bodily fluids of the infected person. This includes excrement, sweat and unwashed hands. If you have noticed the rash beginning to form on your child’s body, bring them to AFC Urgent Care New Bedford for immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease Symptoms

The most visible, physical symptom of hand, foot and mouth disease is a red, bumpy rash. The rash will appear to bubble above the skin and appear on the arms, legs and torso, similarly to chickenpox, and evolve into blisters as the virus progresses. Sores will develop near the mouth before spreading to the rest of the body. In addition to the rash, the child may develop a fever and sore throat, as well as dehydration due to painful swallowing. The virus can spread quickly through physical contact with the infected person or with objects they have handled, including books, toys, utensils and railings. Make sure each item is fully cleaned and disinfected upon diagnosis to avoid the spread of disease. If your child contracts the virus and is still in diapers, there is a chance you will contract it while changing them. Symptoms will go away after about 10 days, but can be contagious for several weeks.

Preventing Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

You can prevent hand, foot and mouth disease from entering your home by making sure each member of your family is following correct hygiene practices. As soon as your child is able, make sure they learn how to fully wash their hands with soap and hot water. Since they may not be able to understand how long 20 seconds actually is, have them single Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star twice while washing up, or the ABCs for older children. To prevent a case from starting with an adult, wash your hands after handling raw meat or changing your child. While prepping your workstation to cook, wipe down and disinfect each surface you will be using, including your countertops and cutting boards.

Does your child have symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease? Visit AFC Urgent Care New Bedford for diagnosis and treatment.