Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Thursday, November 19, 2015

After waking up from his nap one Sunday, Hendrix had a small mouth rash. The whole day he was very calm (unlike him), and his temperature was 99.1 which was higher then normal. By dinner time his mouth had lots of little red bumps around it and he didn't want to eat. A few weeks earlier we received a letter in Hendrix cubby at school informing us that a child had HFM disease. I immediately remembered this and knew that's what he had.

The next morning Hendrix had bumps all over his face and tush. By the time we got to the doctors office that morning, they were EVERYWHERE. The doctor confirmed he had HFM, informed us to give him soft foods, smoothies, and use Tylenol or Ibprofuen if he seems uncomfortable or has a fever.

What is Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease? HFM is a common virus with symptoms that include fever, mouth sores, a skin rash, reduced appetite and a sore throat. It usually affects infants and children younger than 5. The skin rash can blister and may develop on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, knees, buttocks and elbows. (www.cdc.gov)

Night 1 with HFM Hendrix cried and cried from 6:30pm-midnight. He sleeps 6:30-6:30 everyday so this was out of the ordinary. Practically inconsolable, he drank lots of milk and had lots of cuddles that first night. Every night after, he was back to his normal sleeping schedule.

*This was day 2 of hand, foot and mouth disease. (Such a sad boy!)

How We Survived
1) To keep the area around his mouth and bottoms of his feet from drying out, I used Aquaphor at least 3 times per day (after each meal/bath time) so it stayed hydrated.

2) I washed his bedding/bears everyday. It may seem like a lot but HFM disease is highly contagious and I didn't want him reinfecting himself.

3) Utensils/Sippy Cups: I wish I had thought about these earlier. On days 4-6 I sterilized everything in boiling water. I recommend only allowing your little one to use the same, 1 plate, bowl, sippy cup and straw cup. That way there won't be so much to clean!

4) Toys: all toys were cleaned with a diluted bleach solution on days 6 and 7. He still puts things in his mouth so those things I made sure to clean daily.

5) Our hands/his hands: washed numerous times per day. Especially after eating, every diaper change, nose wipes or anytime I saw his hands in his mouth. 

6) Diet: this boy stopped eating day 1. He would only eat scrambled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, Mac N Cheese and smoothies. I offered other foods but they were quickly denied. I made sure to add veggies to his eggs, pasta, smoothies and even offered carrot cake oatmeal which he gobbled right up. 

7) Diaper rash: In his 18 months of life, Hendrix never had a diaper rash, until HFM that is. It was he most severe rash I've seen on a kid and I've changed many diapers in my lifetime. I immediately ran to all of my Instagram mamas and asked for recommendations. Many suggested extra virgin coconut oil, Honest diaper cream or balm. I decided to go with coconut oil and literally after 2 uses it was 50% better. Since its cleared I still give him coconut oil baths every other bathtime and lather his entire body with it after bathtime. It smells delicious, keep his curls super soft/bouncy and his skin soft.

Hopefully if your child ever comes down with it, these tips and our experience will ease your mind a bit. Any questions? Feel free to ask.  

*Day 4 and as happy as can be!