As a parent, it’s important to know the early warning signs of common childhood illnesses and diseases, like hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). This common viral illness isn’t usually serious, but it is highly contagious, especially in children under 5.
At Wasatch Peak Family Practice in Layton, Utah, our board-certified providers specialize in keeping your little ones healthy with our comprehensive pediatric care. Keep reading for valuable information about recognizing the first signs of HFMD so your child can get the care they need.
Fever and overall fatigue
One of the first signs of HFMD is a sudden-onset fever. Your child's temperature may rise unexpectedly and be accompanied by fatigue and general tiredness.
It's important to keep an eye on their temperature and check in with your pediatrician if it reaches the following thresholds:
- Over 102.2°F for ages 3 months to 3 years
- Over 104°F for children over 3 years
- Fevers that don’t break after 24 hours
That being said, you’re the expert on your child. Don’t hesitate to call your provider even if your child has a low-grade fever but isn’t acting right.
Blisters and sores
Another symptom of HFMD is the development of blisters and sores. These can show up on different parts of your child's body, such as the palms of their hands, soles of their feet, or around their mouth.
HFMD blisters can be painful and make it challenging for your little one to eat or drink. If you notice any unusual rashes or blisters, it's advisable to seek advice from the team at Wasatch Peak Family Practice, as they’re familiar with HFMD.
A sore throat is another early sign of HFMD. If your child starts complaining about a sore throat or refusing to drink or eat, it’s a good idea to check for HFMD. Keep in mind that many viral illnesses cause sore throats, so don’t hesitate to call your Wasatch Peak Family Practice provider for specific advice.
Loss of appetite and crankiness
Many children go through phases of picky eating, but if you notice a significant loss of appetite in your child, it could be linked to HFMD. The mouth sores the illness causes can make it painful to eat, leading to decreased food intake.
You might also notice that your child seems unusually irritable or cranky. This could be a result of their discomfort or added hunger or thirst. Focus on keeping them hydrated with fluids and offer soft foods that are easier to swallow.
More drooling or saliva than usual
Does your child suddenly seem to have more saliva and drool than usual? Increased saliva production and drooling are common symptoms in cases of HFMD.
These symptoms can sometimes cause a rash around their mouth. Keep some extra bibs and gentle face wipes handy to keep your child comfortable and clean. You can also apply petroleum jelly for added protection.
Help for HFMD and other pediatric concerns
If you suspect your child has HFMD, it's important to seek guidance from medical professionals. Most of the time, HFMD resolves on its own with proper at-home care, and the caring pediatric team at Wasatch Peak Family Practice provides the support and care your child needs, so don't hesitate to reach out.
That being said, some children may need more immediate attention for HFMD. Call our team right away if:
- Your child is younger than 6 months with signs of HFMD
- Your child has a weakened immune system
- Your child’s symptoms lead to dehydration
- Your child’s symptoms don’t improve or last longer than 10 days
If you’re worried about hand, foot, and mouth disease, don’t wait to schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a pediatric provider at Wasatch Peak Family Practice in Layton, Utah.