Parenting

Surviving Hand Foot and Mouth

Hand foot and mouth is pretty horrid but it is survivable. Not that I would want to go through the last week again. By the end of the week I was starting to forget what was meant by adult interaction and was wondering what it felt like to be outside of the four walls that make up our home.

Although it is mainly children that suffer from hand, foot and mouth children can also get it. It is a virus that can be spread by close person to person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces.

We first noticed Olivia coming up in a rash during our car journey up north to my goddaughters christening. Not the best of timing. She had been a bit clingy recently but we hadn’t really thought anything of it. I knew that they had a confirmed case of both chicken pox and hand foot and mouth at her nursery but didn’t even cross my mind that she way get it.

By the time we had reached the destination she was pretty covered. All over her legs, bum, arms and hands. The worse being around the tops of her legs and her bum. We presume where these areas had been the warmest sitting in the car.

That night she was totally unconsolable. Wouldn’t let us touch her and just couldn’t settle which resulted in a middle of the night trip to A&E. We had reached a point where we really just didn’t know what to do. Neither of us had ever seen her like that before.

After a two hour wait we got to see the doctor who confirmed it was hand foot and mouth. As its viral they don’t normally prescribe antibiotics but he was concerned that some of the spots around her mouth were becoming infected. So off we went back to hotel with a prescription for antibiotics, paracetamol, piriton and savlon.

A week on and she is back to herself and eager to get back to nursery. Now don’t take this as medical advice but here’s my advice tips for surviving hand, foot and mouth.

*As hand foot and mouth is a viral infection there is no need to take them to the doctors, unless any of the spots are looking as though they may be infected.

*Give lots of fluid. Making sure they don’t become dehydrated is crucial. Ensure that they always have a drink to hand and that you encourage them to take regular sips.

*Use piriton and calamine cream or lotion to help stop any itching.

*Give paracetamol to bring down any fever and make them feel a lot better.

*Give soft, mushy foods, ice pops and ice-cream to ensure sore throats aren’t aggravated and to help with the loss of appetite. Milkshakes are a great idea as they are full of calories, soothing and easy to swallow.

*Ensure that their plates, cutlery and towels don’t get shared. Once the virus has gone its a good idea to get a new toothbrush.

*Really try not to let them have any contact with other children. This may be easier said that done when they have siblings but hand foot and mouth is very contagious.

*Sterilise toys and ensure that flannels, sponges, towels and bedding and thoroughly washed.

Like everything they could get it mildly or like Olivia be totally covered. The rash usually takes 7-10 days to clear. So get ready to watch plenty of children’s TV, have lots of snuggles and make sure theres a bottle of wine in the fridge for when they have gone to bed.

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