Recently there was a case of HFMD in my son's childcare centre. I'm a little worried. Are there any preventive measures I can take for my 5-year-old?
First of all, it is important to recognise that Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is caused by a group of enteroviruses, most commonly the coxsackie virus which spreads through the faecal-oral route, secretions or saliva. When in doubt, consult a GP clinic near you.
A child with HFMD may have symptoms which include fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers on the inside of the mouth or sides of the tongue, rashes or blisters on the palms of hands, soles of feet and/or buttocks.
However, these symptoms may vary between children and stages of the disease. Then there are some individuals who only have a rash or show no symptoms at all. It takes about three to six days before a child presents these symptoms.
There is no treatment for children with HFMD. Medications may be used to relieve symptoms. Hence the importance of the following preventive measures:
In practical terms, it means washing hands often with soap and water or to sanitise the hands especially after changing diapers and to help young children do the same. One can lower the risk of getting infected by:
Obviously, we can strengthen our children’s immune system by:
Before considering a child with HFMD to return to school, it is important for parents to ensure that the child has no fever or blisters on hands and arms, mouth ulcer, blisters on soles of feet, legs and/or buttocks.
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