Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, also known as HFMD, is most common in children under the age of 5. At this time there is no vaccine to prevent against contracting HFMD, but researchers are working on developing vaccinations. Because HFMD is very painful beginning with sores in the throat area, of course, you want to prevent getting this disease altogether. There are several precautions you and your children can take to prevent HFMD. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways children can prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.
What are signs of HFMD? Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a virus caused by the Enterovirus. It is contagious and symptoms include painful mouth sores or blisters, A small rash will then develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Other signs to look for are fever, low appetite and generally not feeling well.
4 ways to prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Do any of your children’s school mates or playmates have HFMD? Staying aware of which children currently have the condition is the very first step in preventing your own child from contracting it. This can be challenging. Signs of HFMD appear in areas of the body not always visible: soles of feet, back of throat. This is why keeping an open line of communication among other parents, daycare staff, teachers and others in your child’s life is the key.
Ramp up routine hygiene practices
You likely already practice good hand washing and other forms of routine hygiene. If you learn that your child is being exposed to HFMD you will want to ramp up these efforts. Frequent handwashing is important. If your child is in daycare, pack extra hand sanitizer and go back over how to apply this independently or voice your concerns for more application to the teachers. If your child is still in the diaper stages, you will want to be extra sure to wash up with hot, soapy water after each changing and take extra care to dispose of the diapers out of the way.
Mythbusters: It’s a myth that HFMD is contracted from household
pets like dogs and cats.
Protect from coughs and sneezes
For young children, coughing and sneezing are common ways to spread HFMD. But in the busy day of play they can forget to cover their mouths until after the deed is done. Be sure to go over the important steps of covering their mouths during coughs and sneezing to prevent the spread of germs and also to protect them from inhaling germs during coughs and sneezes.
Disinfect all around
One last step in helping children prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is to disinfect your surroundings all around. Disinfect all toys, inside your cars, the furniture and especially any items your child comes in contact with daily – their bedroom furniture, wash sheets with a bleach solution, bedtime books and more.
If you suspect your child has Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease give us a call at OneSource Healthcare for a full assessment.
At OneSource Healthcare, we understand how vital it is to be seen by an urgent care physician when you aren’t well. That is why we offer low-cost, affordable urgent care in Albany, GA or affordable urgent care in Bainbridge, GA for those occasional urgent care medical needs that simply cannot wait. Visit us online at www.onesource-healthcare.com or give us a call today at 229-439-1950 or 229-246-6417.