Just to hear the word—DISEASE makes it sound like something awful and gross. But in reality–hand, foot, and mouth disease is just a viral illness. Just like if you were to get a cold. It just sounds so much worse. I decided to write on this because the only information I could find was from medical sites and not from REAL Mom’s who had to deal with this. Let me share with you the journey of my children having hand, foot, and mouth disease.
This illness has affected our entire household– in various different forms. Remember there are 11 of us living in the home. It started with seeing some tiny almost blister like bites on my daughter. She woke up and I thought that it was strange and that she must of gotten attacked by a spider or some other strange insect here. No itching, just lots of tiny blister like bites. Then that same day–two other children started with high fevers. Those fevers spiked to 103.5 and would not go down right away with Ibuprofen doses. I sponged them with a cool washcloth and it eventually went down to a low grade fever of 101. This lasted for 48 hours, returning every 6 hours as the medicine wore off. Another toddler cried out in pain as he drank from his sippy cup—-his throat had tiny blisters in it and hurt to drink anything.
Then I got word that a friend’s child was diagnosed with this disease and I knew that is what we had. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease — a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children — is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus. I had come to learn through the various ages of my children, how it affected each person. Here is a breakdown of such:
3 year old—had mild low grade fever for about 2 days then small spotty hive looking spots on feet, toes, hands, up part of arm, around mouth, and inside of mouth appeared that lasted about 1 week. On day 2 of seeing spots, had extremely itchy feet and hands—used Benadryl liquid, socks on feet and then I rubbed them. Refused to eat or drink anything for few days. Hurt to suck, avoided any acid type drinks or food. We found yogurt was something he enjoyed eating and ate an entire quart container of it in one day. Tried offering liquids–did not want that for about 3 days–just small sips of water.
4 year old—just had spots, no fever, no complaints, ate normal–developed cough later
5 year old–had fever of 103.5 for 48 hours, spots occurred during that time. They appeared on feet, legs, hands, arms, around nose, mouth, on buttocks, more severe looking on this child. Had extreme itching—gave Epson salt baths, covered in Hydrocortizone cream, rubbed feet through socks, applied carmex to lips constantly, ate popsicles and drank Gatorade—throat hurt and had accompany cough. Ear pain developed in this child. Used ibuprofen to help symptoms ease.
6 year old—had extreme fever of 103 and fatigue for 3 days. No spots at all. Terrible cough that kept her up at night. –only child under 10 that did not receive spots
9 year old—had high fever 102—rested within 2 days had spots on hands, feet, and around nose. Stayed in bed, itchy but manageable. One week and symptoms have disappeared.
10 year old—had extremely high fever 104—developed sores after 2 days of fever all over feet, hands, all around mouth developed blisters. Laid in bed for days. After one week all blisters have left and appears normal.
upper teens and adults—-received sore throat, extreme fatigue to stay in bed for days, and low grade fever–no spots
My suggestion——REST, keep low acid type foods—yogurt, rice krispy cereal softened in milk was good, butter crackers, bananas, popsicles, and Gatorade. I made a pot of chicken noodle soup and some ate it, but the above was typical diet for a week.
Giving warm baths in Epson salts was a nice relief for itching. We then covered bodies in clothing and rubbed the sores. Some spots, blistered and became sores but we kept them covered in antibiotic cream. We kept the Ibuprofen in them nonstop.
Look at the positive. It could have been worse—we could have had to live through chicken pox or vomiting. I am thankful that they all got it within a week and we were able to just stay home without contaminating anyone else. It took about one week from start to finish with each child. Would I want to get this again?? No way!!! I am thankful it went through everyone at the same time and quickly. Now we are on the mend!