Has your child recently been diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease? If so, you aren't alone. The virus, which causes painful sores to appear in the mouth, on the feet, and on the hands, is more commonly seen in the summer and fall. While it mostly affects children up to five years old, older children and adults can also contract the virus. Fortunately, the virus typically runs its course within a couple of weeks. Until then, you can try these home remedies to ease your little one's pain and/or discomfort.
Food and Drinks
The sores in your child's mouth and throat can make eating and drinking difficult, so don't be surprised if your child refuses food and drinks. You should avoid serving your child spicy, acidic, and salty foods, because they can irritate the mouth sores. Instead, serve more bland foods that are soft and don't require a lot of chewing. Mashed potatoes, Jello, rice, and peanut butter sandwiches are all good options. Also, avoid giving your child soda and fruit juice. Cold drinks, such as ice water and milk, are better options. If your child needs to eat something to ease mouth pain, ice cream, sherbet, popsicles, and ice chips are all good options. If your child continues to refuse food and drinks, ask your pediatrician to recommend a good meal replacement shake and/or oral electrolyte solution to help keep your little one nourished and hydrated during the healing process.
If your child is old enough to rinse his or her mouth out without swallowing, gargling salt water can help ease mouth pain. Warm salt water rinses can be done several times per day to help reduce inflammation and remove unwanted bacteria from the mouth. If your child isn't old enough to do a salt water rinse, have your child drink a glass of warm water after each meal. This will flush any leftover food particles and bacteria out of the mouth, temporarily relieving your child's discomfort.
Blisters on your child's hands and feet can also cause a lot of discomfort. Fortunately, coconut oil can help soothe any pain or irritation, and it has natural anti-viral properties. You can use coconut oil as a salve by applying it directly on your child's rash or add a scoop of coconut oil to your child's bath. Keep in mind, coconut oil is solid when it's at room temperature. So, before applying it to your child's blisters, rub the coconut oil in your hands so that it liquifies. This way, it goes on as smooth as possible.
While hand, foot, and mouth disease can look scary, it's a common virus that will clear up on its own within seven to 10 days. Until the virus runs its course, you should do your best to keep your child as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, you should contact a pediatrician at a clinic like Entira Family Clinics as soon as possible.