Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease — Paediatrics
It is a viral infection (enterovirus) which is generally benign. It most commonly affects children under the age of 5 (there are more cases in children between the age of 1 and 3).
After a few days of fever of up to 39 degrees and cold-like symptoms, blisters appear outside and inside the mouth (gums, palate, tongue), hands, feet and nappy area. These lesions dry up and disappear in approximately one week. They do not sting.
- Your paediatrician will indicate symptomatic treatment, both of the fever, and of the pain that the mouth ulcers can cause (oral painkillers and topical preparations that soothe the pain and help the healing process).
- They should not be given hot, acidic or salty foods, in order to avoid the discomfort caused when eating them.
- Offer them their usual diet in small and frequent feeds.
- Offer them fresh liquids in small and frequent intakes to keep them well hydrated.
- To avoid the blisters becoming super-infected, they need to be cleaned with soap and water and kept dry. The child's nails must be short.
- In most cases, it is a mild process that heals without problems.
- In some children, the nails may strip and fall off after 5-6 weeks. Transverse grooves may also appear in the nails. It is not painful and the nails recover in weeks — months.
- In rare cases, there are neurological complications.
- It may occur again because they are several viruses that can cause it.