Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease - A Parents Survival Guide

November-14-2016--Tabatha-Sue-Photography-battling-hand-foot-and-mouth-disease-as-a-parent-in-northeast-ohio-surviving-HFMD-in-cleveland-ohio-rising-hand-foot-mouth-disease-cases-near-parma-and-cleveland-ohio

If you have a child that leaves the house ever, it is very possible that you have heard of the many cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) being reported this year at schools and daycares. The frequency of the disease this year here in Northeast Ohio makes it likely that you may have even housed the disease. Don’t worry, if you haven’t yet, you probably will. Kids sure do love to share germs!

I thought my house was safe from the virus and that we were finally in the clear after a solid three weeks of sniffles, coughs, and all-around whining when I noticed a suspiciously bumpy tongue. Upon closer inspection I saw a nice, big, white blister on the back of his throat. SERIOUSLY?! Back to the pediatrician we went, for the sixth time in three weeks, where the virus was confirmed. Within twelve hours the virus had spread and my house was on full lockdown.

 

This is how we all survived...

Please, please always check with your doctor for the best treatment options for any medical issues. Although the information provided in this blog was retrieved from reputable medical and health websites, it is not intended or suggested to replace the advice of a medical professional.

 

What is it?!
The name sounds worse than it really is. What HFMD is, is a cold-type virus that can cause the following:

  • Fever
  • Blister type lesions or rash on the hands, soles of feet, tongue, throat, and sometimes the tushy.
  • General feeling of malaise (or not feeling well, but add that term to your vocabulary to wow your friends)
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rest, snuggles, more snuggles, rest

Fever Treatment
For the most part, HFMD looks worse than it feels. The blisters can look gross and cause some discomfort, but treating the discomfort is usually the best way to get through this illness. Since, you know, we can do all kinds of cool stuff like transplant faces but we can’t seem to stop these silly little viruses. Treating the fever is the first step in making your little one more comfortable. Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours, acetaminophen every 4 if the ibuprofen isn’t quite enough to keep the fever down.

For example, Susie gets ibuprofen at noon for a fever. She can get it again at 6 PM. At 4 pm, the fever is creeping back in. Most doctors would agree that a dose of acetaminophen at this time is safe. Susie could then get another dose of ibuprofen at 6 PM and acetaminophen at 8 PM, if needed.

Easing those bumps
Unfortunately, your little prince might resemble more of a toad until this virus works its way out. If the rash is bothersome, a cool rag and running around in his underwear might provide a bit of relief. A sore mouth or throat gets a doctor suggested novelty treat regime. At this time in your little ones life, ice cream IS ok for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Really!

Lots of liquids
Don’t do what I did here. I thought, “Oh! He’s sick! Let’s pump him full of orange juice for the vitamin-C!” My intentions were well, and although there was no complaining, the acidic nature of OJ could have made him more uncomfortable than it may have been worth. Ice cold water is great option as well as Gatorade or Pedialyte. The colder the better to ease those aching throats!

Don’t push for an empty plate
Loss of an appetite is a big symptom of HFMD. The mouth sores have the potential to make eating absolute torture. So for the duration of the virus, opt for something resembling more of a liquid diet. Smoothies would be a fun and healthy way to ensure your little one is still getting nutrients without the discomfort of solid food. So for now, juuuuuuuust for now, skip on the broccoli.

SNUGGLESSSSS!
Depending on the age of your little one when HFMD hits, you may find yourself able to snag a few long forgotten snuggles from your “too old” snugglers. Enjoy this time of satiated snuggles. Soon they will be back to refusing your help and existence.

XX STAY AWAY XX
Often times, HFMD has been incubating for days or weeks before symptoms appear. Sneaky bastard. So, the only fighting chance is to instill the importance of frequent hand washing, urge against shared drinks or food utensils, and Lysol everything. All the time.

Finally…
Wine. Lots of wine.

*Please, please always check with your doctor for the best treatment options for any medical issues. Although the information provided in this blog was retrieved from reputable medical and health websites, it is not intended or suggested to replace the advice of a medical professional.

Have any other tips you'd love to share? Let us know below, we'd LOVE to hear!

 

Tabatha Sue Photography | Parma OH Family Photographer | North Royalton OH Family Photographer | info@tabathasuephotography.com