Hand, Foot, and Mouth in Kids

Hand, foot, and mouth in kids is relatively common. Take a minute to learn more!

What is Hand-Foot-and-Mouth? 

Hand, Foot, and Mouth is a common viral infection that mostly infects children younger than five years old. It is generally transmitted by touching another infected person’s feces, saliva, mucus, or other bodily fluids. The virus typically lasts between seven to ten days, with varying symptoms. Hand-Foot-and-Mouth is incredibly contagious but not particularly dangerous. 

It is important to note that Hand-Foot-and-Mouth is different from Foot-and-Mouth disease. Foot-and-Mouth can only be contracted by animals, and Hand-Foot-and-Mouth can only be contracted by humans.

Who is most at risk for Hand-Foot-and-Mouth? 

As previously mentioned, young children most commonly contract Hand-Foot-and-Mouth. Children who are 1-5 years old and attend daycare are most at-risk for contracting this virus. 

What are the Symptoms?

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth can cause many symptoms that usually begin within three to five days of contracting the virus and can vary from person to person. Here are the common symptoms: 

  • Skin rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Red spots on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  • Coughing or sneezing

How is Hand-Foot-and-Mouth in Kids Diagnosed?

Medical providers can usually look at a child’s hands and feet to determine if they have contracted it. KidsStreet Urgent Care diagnoses Hand-Foot-and-Mouth at our many locations and can help your child start healing and feeling better. Sometimes your provider may send off a swab of the mouth or a fecal sample to get definitive results. 

What are the Treatment Options? 

Treatment of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain medications.

The biggest threat from this viral infection is dehydration, as the sores in the mouth may make swallowing painful. It is vital that you ensure your child is drinking plenty of fluids. It also may be helpful to feed your child soft foods to reduce the pain of swallowing and ensure they are getting plenty of nutrients. 

How to Prevent the Spread of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth

As previously stated, Hand-Foot-and-Mouth is extremely contagious. Here are a few ways to prevent the spread:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoid eating or drinking after an infected person
  • Keep children home from school until their symptoms, such as fever, have dissipated 

Turn to KidsStreet Urgent Care

KidsStreet Urgent Care is here for all of life’s little emergencies, and we want to get your children healing and feeling better. If you suspect your child may have contracted Hand-Foot-and-Mouth, please come visit one of our locations to get them diagnosed. 

We urge you to register online to limit in-clinic waiting times. Once you complete online registration, you will be added to the queue from wherever you are. This enables you to wait from your home or car. When we’re ready for you, we will send you a text message, and you will then have 30 minutes to arrive at our office and check in at the front desk. 

Walk-ins are always welcome. However, please be aware that registering online reduces in-clinic wait times.