Texas Children's Hospital advises parents to be on the lookout for Hand Foot Mouth

Mayra Moreno Image
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
TCH warns parents about Hand Foot Mouth
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Texas Children's Hospital warns parents about Hand Foot Mouth.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- This week, kids have gone back to school or daycare, which means the potential for spreading germs may be on the rise. For parents with children 5 and under, one particular virus could be making the rounds this year, leaving your children with a rash on their hands, and inside their mouths. But fear not, doctors know what it is.

When Jackie Effenson saw a rash on her son, she brought him in to see what it was.

"Checked his hands. Checked his feet. He had other patches on his arms and legs as well," Effenson said.

Two-year-old Evan was diagnosed with Hand Foot Mouth, a virus common with younger children.

Effenson said, "It was just waiting it out and keeping him away from other kids because it is so contagious."

Dr. Benjamin Ho is a physician at Texas Children's Pediatrics PMG on Kirby. He said, "It's caused by a virus called Enterovirus, namely one called Coxsackie virus. And its characteristics are lesions in the mouth, and also the hands, the feet."

According to Dr. Ho, there is some discomfort associated with the lesions.

"The lesions on the hands and feet and throughout the body are a little bit painful. Not itchy but a little bit painful," Dr. Ho explained.

Unfortunately it can spread quite easily.

"It's very common in daycare because you can get it from respiratory and oral secretions from the fluid in the vesicles and lesions on the hands," Dr. Ho said. "General treatment is just symptomatic care. Just basically pain management. Taking some Tylenol, some Motrin as needed."

Dr. Ho says the best prevention is through keeping good hand hygiene, so washing your hands a lot is key. Also, if your child is diagnosed with it, it's advised to make your daycare aware so that they can notify the other parents.

"You shouldn't go back to daycare until a full resolution of the active lesions. Usually 7-10 days after the lesions you're safe to go back," according to Dr. Ho.

As for Efferson, she has advice for other parents that may experience this soon.

"Popsicles helped with the throat. The Motrin helped, the baths. It passes, all of the blisters go away so it's very manageable," Effenson said.