ZocdocAnswers"What should I do if my son has hand, foot and mouth illness?"

Question

"What should I do if my son has hand, foot and mouth illness?"

My infant son has Hand, foot and mouth illness. Is this serious?

Answer

This is something you should definitely discuss with your doctor. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common illness, especially among young children. As the name suggests, there are often symptoms involving the hands and feet (including redness and some blistering among other things), and also the mouth, with the same blisters and redness. It can be extremely concerning and distressing for both the patient and his or her parents, as it makes it difficult to eat or drink, and also is often associated with moderately high fever. In this setting, there is usually some degree of irritability or fatigue, with the entire picture being one of a very sick child. Especially for parents who have never experienced or do not remember the effects of this illness, it can be disconcerting. The good news is that it usually will resolve all by itself in just a few days, and the only thing that needs to be done is to manage the symptoms as they arise. Encourage hydration, manage temperatures and discomfort with over the counter analgesia (if appropriate), and wait for the illness to pass. As it is often spread in waves, it is possible your child may have some sick contacts who are already over it. If you are concerned that your child has this illness, please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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