Hand, Foot and Mouth

What is it?

Hand, Foot and Mouth, also referred to as coxsackie virus, is a common virus in children under the age of 5. Older children and adults can also get the virus. This virus is most common during the summer months. Hand, foot and mouth has no relation to hoof and mouth disease that occurs in animals. Your child may start with a fever and sore throat. About 2 days later you may see red spots or "blisters" to the palms of hands and soles of feet as well as blisters inside of the mouth. The rash may also appear on the knees, elbows and genital area. Your child may have a fever for 2-3 days, a sore throat for 5-7 days and the rash and blisters for 7-10 days. Your child may get all of the symptoms or only a few.


What can I do?

Hand, foot and mouth virus can usually be treated at home without having to bring your child into the office. Tylenol and Motrin can be used to help bring down your child's fever and to help with the pain from the sore throat and blisters inside of the mouth. Encourage your child to drink lots of liquids and offer her soft, cool foods. Avoid giving your child anything with citrus, salty, spicy or foods with sharp edges as these can make the pain from the mouth sores worse. Hand, foot and mouth virus is contagious and your child should remain away from other children until they no longer have a fever. Many times your child's playmates will get the virus at the same time as it is contagious before your child develops any symptoms.


When do I call the office?

  • Your child has had a fever for more than 3 days
  • Your child has not urinated in more than 6 hours
  • Your child refuses to drink any fluids
  • Mouth pain becomes severe
  • If you have any questions or concerns