If you take your child to a doctor, make the most of your time by writing down information the doctor will need before you go, including:
- Any signs and symptoms your child is experiencing
- How long your child has been having signs and symptoms
- Whether your child has been in child care or other environments where the disease might be spread
- Any questions you have
Some questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What's the likely cause of the symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- Will my child need to undergo any tests?
- What's the best treatment approach?
- Is there a need to take medicine?
- What can I do at home to make my child more comfortable?
What to expect from your doctor
Some questions the doctor may ask include:
- When did symptoms first begin?
- How severe are the symptoms?
- Has your child recently been exposed to anyone who was sick?
- Have you heard of any illnesses at your child's school or child care?
- Does anything seem to improve the symptoms?
- Does anything appear to worsen the symptoms?
What you can do in the meantime
To help lessen discomfort, doctors often recommend:
Aug. 22, 2014
- Getting rest.
- Drinking fluids — milk-based fluids may be easier to tolerate than acidic liquids, such as juice or soda.
- If needed, taking over-the-counter pain relievers other than aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) in an age- and weight-appropriate form and dosage. But they're not necessary for low-grade fevers and will do nothing to hasten the resolution of your child's condition.
- Using mouthwash or oral spray to numb pain.
- Modlin JF. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of enterovirus and parechovirus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 28, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed June 28, 2014.
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/index.html. Accessed June 21, 2014.
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease information sheet. World Health Organization. http://www.wpro.who.int/emerging_diseases/hfmd.information.sheet/en/#. Accessed June 29, 2014.
- Suzuki Y, et al. Risk factors for severe hand foot and mouth disease. Pediatrics International. 2010;52:203.
- Modlin JF. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of enterovirus and parechovirus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 28, 2014.