Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease - Brief Version
What is hand, foot and mouth disease?
Your child may have hand, foot, and mouth disease, if your
- Small, painful sores in his mouth.
- Small water blisters or red spots on the palms of his
hands and soles of the feet. You may also see these on
the webs between the fingers and toes.
- Five or fewer blisters on each hand or foot
- Low-grade fever between 100ƒF and 102ƒF
This happens most often in children 6 months to 4 years old.
A virus causes this disease. The fever goes away by the 3rd
or 4th day. The mouth sores go away in 7 days. The rash on
the hands and feet can last 10 days.
How can I take care of my child?
Helping the pain.
- If your child is very young, put 1/2 teaspoon
antacid solution in the front of the mouth four
times a day after meals.
- Children over age 4 can use 1 teaspoon of an antacid
solution as a mouthwash after meals.
- Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) if
your child's mouth really hurts, or for fever over
102ƒ F. No aspirin.
Feeding your child.
- Give soft foods, like yogurt, cottage cheese, and
- Use a cup instead of a bottle.
- Cold drinks, milkshakes, popsicles, and sherbert can
- Stay away from citrus, salty, or spicy foods.
Spreading hand, foot, and mouth disease.
- Your child's playmates may get the disease in 3 to
- Your child may go back to school when the fever goes
Call your child's doctor right away if:
- Your child has not urinated for more than 8 hours.
- Your child acts very sick.
Call your child's doctor during office hours if:
- The fever lasts more than 3 days.
- You have other concerns or questions.