Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

My two and five year old sons contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease this week. It is a fairly common illness among young children and can be quite contagious which allows it to spread quickly in child care and school settings. The first symptoms were a fever and later that day, a sore throat. I thought we might have strep in the house. In fact it wasn’t until about 24 hours later that the rash started, they almost look like blisters. As soon as I saw it, I was fairly certain that it was Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. I took them to the doctor the next day to be sure.

Yes, the doctor confirmed, it is Hand, Foot and Mouth and unfortunately it is a virus and there isn’t any treatment other than home remedies: drink lots of fluid so they don’t become dehydrated and use Tylenol and Motrin to keep them comfortable. With my five year old, his sore throat looked very red and irritated, so the doctor actually did a swab test to be sure it wasn’t strep. It wasn’t. One concern the doctor had was he had a rash also on his leg and it was red and inflamed, so he prescribed a cream and told me to bring him back in if it gets worse.

I decided to hold off on getting the prescribed cream, hoping that essential oils could take care of the inflammation. I gave the boys a warm bath with drops of lavender essential oil in it. They love the smell of lavender and the next day the rash looked so much better!

We have also been using Kids Immune Blend since the first sign of a fever and I have no doubt that it helped from progressing to a more severe reaction. Both boys had a fever for only 24 hours. My two year old only had a sore throat and mouth for 48 hours. Some children suffer for at least a week.

Along with Kids Immune on the soles of their feet and warm Lavender baths, I rubbed a drop of Tea Tree oil on their necks, we forced liquids by offering lots of popsicles and having ice water in water bottles for them available constantly. Dehydration and weight-loss are concerns with this disease, because the mouth sores make it difficult to eat and drink. Whew! It’s been an exhausting week, but could have been so much worse!

Do you have any tips on helping a child with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease? Tell us in the comments.

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