Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a virus. The most common viruses that cause it include:
The virus is usually spread through fecal-oral transmission. This is often because of not washing hands properly, particularly after changing diapers or using the bathroom. Handwashing is key to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
The symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease are usually unique. But they can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Antibiotics are not used to treat this illness.
The goal of treatment is to help reduce symptoms. Symptoms may last up to a week. Treatment may include:
Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines. Don't give ibuprofen to a child younger than 6 months old, unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Don't give aspirin to children. Aspirin can cause a serious health condition called Reye syndrome.
Good handwashing is important to stop the disease from being spread to other children. To help prevent the spread of the illness to others:
Also make sure to:
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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