04 April, 2021

Why is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) most contagious for children

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, commonly referred to as HFMD, is a bacterial, viral infection that causes sores in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet in small children. Coxsackievirus is the most common cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease. It can be painful for the children, but it isn’t serious to worry about and can be treated with appropriate measures. 

Children under the age of five are at the most significant risk of contracting HFMD. If they go to daycare or kindergarten, the risk increases because viruses can spread rapidly in these settings. After being exposed to the viruses that cause the illness, children usually develop immunity to it. This is why children above the age of ten are rarely affected. 

Symptoms you might notice

Hand, foot, and mouth disorder may cause most or some of the following signs and symptoms. The list includes: 

  • Fever and sore throat 
  • Coax throat with extreme dryness 
  • On the lips, gums, and inside of the buttocks, you can observe painful, swollen blister-like lesions.
  • A red rash on the hands, soles, and occasionally on the buttocks that isn’t itchy but blistering might appear.
  • You can also see the loss of appetite (a very rare symptom) in children. 

Period of Contagiousness

Children with HFMD are most contagious during the first week of the illness. They can sometimes remain contagious, though to a lesser degree, for a few weeks after symptoms go away. Children should be kept at home until their symptoms improve. They can go back to day school or play soon after, but they must avoid physical interaction with their peers, including allowing everyone to eat or drink after them.

Since body fluids can spread the virus, it is recommended to wash your children’s hands regularly and take precautions to stop them from rubbing eyes or lips. Disinfect the common areas and teach good hygiene from very early to avoid any health complications, including HFMD. 

*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.


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