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|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR HAND-FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE|
- Reassurance: Hand-foot-mouth disease is a harmless viral rash.
- Liquid Antacid for Mouth Pain:
- Use a liquid antacid 4 times per day.
- For younger children, put ½ teaspoon (2 ml) in the front of the mouth 4 times per day after meals.
- Children over age 4 can use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) as a mouthwash after meals.
- Soft Diet:
- Encourage favorite fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Cold drinks, milkshakes, popsicles, slushes, and sherbet are good choices.
- Avoid citrus, salty, or spicy foods.
- For infants, give fluids by cup, spoon or syringe rather than a bottle. (Reason: The nipple can cause pain.)
- Solid food intake is not important.
- Fever Medicine: Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen for fever above 102° F (39° C) or severe mouth pain.
- Quite contagious but a mild and harmless disease.
- Incubation period is 3-6 days.
- Can return to child care or school after the fever is gone (usually 2 to 3 days).
- The rash is not contagious.
- Expected Course:
- Fever lasts 2 or 3 days.
- Mouth ulcers resolve by 7 days.
- Rash on the hands and feet lasts 10 days. The rash on the hands and feet may then peel.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Signs of dehydration develop
- Fever present over 3 days
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.