Those play in muddy puddles after rain, sand houses on a beach during summer, or hide & seek in a nearby play yard. Children are much more enthusiastic while playing outbound. But the diseases that they invite via them are also infinite. Lots of unwanted microbes they bring in every day through it. Most of us are unaware of what it may cause and the effects it does. The children they get along with may be suffering from an allergic cold to an easily contagious viral infection.
The outside environment is always unpredictable. It may have insects during the rainy season; lots of Viruses & Bacteria thrive in rainy and damp areas. Mosquitoes breed a lot during such times too. It may lead to Malaria, Chikun Guinea, and Dengue. Sand plays have several infectious organisms which stick to children’s skin like palms, feet, toes, and nails and even reach their anal areas. It leads to common problems like worm manifestation, stomach ache, and other big issues like Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease commonly called HFM. This article shows some light on Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Let us get started.
What are Hand, Foot, and Mouth diseases?
The HFM is an infection usually caused by a group of viruses called Non-Polio Enteroviruses, with the most common being the Coxsackievirus A16 virus. It mostly affects children under the age group of 5 years. As the name “Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease” goes, the virus affects mainly the Hand, Foot, and Mouth. It causes sores in the mouth and lots of red rashes on the hands & feet.
It is highly contagious and spreads easily among children through mucus, saliva, the liquid from the blisters, and through the feces of the infected person. When the infected child touches the sore blisters and touches any of the toys or surfaces, it spreads automatically to the next child. Most viral infections are airborne and it is applicable to HFM too.
What it does do?
HFM creates painful red pointed blisters inside and around the mouth which has transparent liquid around the red spot. It also spreads to the throat making it tough for the child to consume food or liquid.
It creates rashes in the bum area of children, in the hands and feet, and between the fingers & toes. They are often painful but not too scary. It resolves by itself in a week to 10 days.
Symptoms of the virus being infected
Sore throat – Most commonly it starts with a sore throat. Young children generally feel difficult to explain the same. They start avoiding the food as it is too painful to swallow when food particles touch the surface of sores in the throat.
Blisters – Yet another annoying symptom is the occurrence of Ulcerative sores in and out of the mouth in the form of sores. Within a day or two, the infection starts spreading from the throat to the surface of the mouth alongside the lips. It is when most of the parents start to notice them.
Rashes in the skin – Any viral infection often accompanies rashes all over the body. But apart from body rashes that are minimal, HFM causes severe small flat spots all over the hands and feet. It is itchy and painful for the child and if they rub the spot, it keeps spreading.
Fever – A dull and mild body temperature is another symptom that shows up in the majority of children. It is often felt after a day or two and settles without reaching a high degree by a common Paracetamol. It is always best to consult your child’s pediatrician to know the extent of the viral attack. He may recommend the right dosage of painkillers and medications to administer the same to your child in spite of giving self-medications.
Loss of appetite – This often goes with sores in the throat and around the mouth. Because when lots of blisters occur on the surface of the mouth, it becomes painful to chew or swallow the food automatically reducing their quantity of intake. This means they lose their stamina and energy to function for the whole day.
Children become weak and dull since their basal metabolic rate is reduced as a whole. It affects the appetite to a greater extent as everything functions as a cycle.
Other common symptoms – Some of the other symptoms may be
- Sleeping patterns get affected, causing the children to become a cranky day long.
- It may also cause body pain and flu-like symptoms as mentioned in a recent study.
- Few children also show up drooling when the sores are high in the mouth area.
Dehydration due to lesser intakes of fluids, liquids, and proper nutrients.
The Pediatrician may suggest medicines to numb the pain in the mouth to ease food intake, lotion to control rashes on the surface of the Hand & Foot, and painkillers to ease the pain caused by spots. If symptoms are worse like a sleepy head, uncontrollable crankiness, and the child is dehydrated with very less output of urine, reach your healthcare provider immediately.
Apart from that when fluid from the sores/blisters pops out, it is best to dab it with antibiotic ointment-dipped cotton. It helps prevent the spread. We can also offer foods that are cool like fresh juices, tender coconuts, yogurts, and flavored lassi to ease the pain in the mouth and throat. It is best to avoid foods that are too spicy, and acidic which may aggravate the spot.
To end up, it is always best to avoid a disease invading instead of taking a cure for it. As young children are most crowded in play schools, daycares, and kindergartens, the administration should take rigid actions to keep the place sanitized. We young parents must also emphasize the importance of washing hands with the children after returning from an outing, after coughing/sneezing, or whenever necessary. Because,
“Prevention is always better than cure”