Hand, foot, and mouth disease is spreading like wildfire. It seems no one is exempt from getting this nasty virus. Because if it’s nature young children and those caring for them are at the highest risk of contracting this disease. Kids can pick it up from grocery carts, school, daycare, play dates, family gatherings, and anywhere other kids are around. Hand foot and mouth takes 3-6 days to show symptoms so it spreads before parents even know.
What is Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease
Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is a viral infection known as coxsackievirus A16. This Virus most commonly affects children 5 and under but can affect siblings, caregivers, and others that care for young children. This disease is most commonly known by its telltale rash that is often that last thing to show up.
Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth can take 3-6 days to incubate before symptoms show.
- Sore throat
- Feeling of being unwell
- Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks
- A red rash, without itching but sometimes with blistering, on the palms, soles and sometimes the buttocks
- Irritability in infants and toddlers
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of finger and toenails (1-2 months after the rash heals)
Hand, foot, and mouth can leave children miserable and even affect their ability to eat and drink. Watch your child for signs of dehydration.
Prevention and stopping the spread of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease
The best way to stop the spread of this disease is with plenty of handwashing, cleaning, and quarantining those that have contracted the virus. This virus can spread through saliva from children putting items in their mouths, diaper changes, coughing and sneezing. Disinfecting is vital from the protection of your children and if one should fall ill keeping them apart and disinfecting areas they enter will protect others from falling ill. Once your child is feeling better they are still contagious for WEEKS after healing.
Like other viral infections, you can help your family prevent the virus by boosting immune systems. A healthy diet, exercise, germ fighting essential oils, and elderberry is a great way to protect your family.
Natural treatment of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease
Sadly there is no treatment for hand, foot, and mouth. Because it is a virus it has to run it’s course. It can take 7 to 10 days to heal on its own. The good news is you can comfort your child and help speed it along with natural methods. From the moment you know your child has been exposed to hand, foot, and mouth start to boost every member of the family’s immune system and step up the hand washing.
Use baths to soothe
The rash can be unbearable to some. A nice soak in Soothing Lavender and Epsom salt baths can help soothe and speed healing of the rash.
Coconut oil is a natural anti-viral that can help speed healing, Apply as a salve, or add to your child’s bath to help the rash head faster and bring your child comfort. You can add coconut oil to a warm tea to help soothe and heal your child’s mouth.
Help your child fight off the virus by putting good in. A good probiotic goes a long way. If your child’s throat can not handle swallowing a probiotic try yogurt. Not only are you giving your child good cultures that will fight to heal her body you are feeding your child something that should go down easy.
Peppermint tea is an antiviral and can sooth soars in the throat. You can add in a bit of raw honey for children over 1 year for even faster healing.
Garlic, onion, oregano, and basil
These 4 herbs are amazing natural antibiotics and antivirals. If your child is up to eating you can lead them up on pasta and garlic bread, soups, or broth made with these herbs. This is a great option for the whole family even those not feeling sick.