Home Care Advice for Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease
- Reassurance: Hand-foot-mouth disease is a harmless viral rash.
- Liquid Antacid for Mouth Pain:
- Use a liquid antacid 4 times per day.
- For younger children, put ½ teaspoon (2 ml) in the front of the mouth 4 times per day after meals.
- Children over age 4 can use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) as a mouthwash after meals.
Fever Medicine: Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen for fever above 102° F (39° C) or severe mouth pain.
Contagiousness: Quite contagious but a mild and harmless disease. Incubation period is 3-6 days. Can return to child care or school after the fever is gone (usually 2 to 3 days). The rash is not contagious.
- Encourage favorite fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Cold drinks, milkshakes, popsicles, slushes, and sherbet are good choices.
- Avoid citrus, salty, or spicy foods.
- For infants, give fluids by cup, spoon or syringe rather than a bottle. (Reason: The nipple can cause pain.)
- Solid food intake is not important.
- Quite contagious but a mild and harmless disease.
- Incubation period is 3-6 days.
- Can return to child care or school after the fever is gone (usually 2 to 3 days).
- The rash is not contagious.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Fever lasts 2 or 3 days.
- Mouth ulcers resolve by 7 days.
- Rash on the hands and feet lasts 10 days. The rash on the hands and feet may then peel.
- Signs of dehydration develop
- Fever present over 3 days
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
To find a pediatrician, click here.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 6/1/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011 3:05:39 PM
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version Year: 2012
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.