Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Certain foods and beverages may irritate blisters on the tongue or in the mouth or throat. Try these tips to help make blister soreness less bothersome and eating and drinking more tolerable:

  • Suck on ice pops or ice chips.
  • Eat ice cream or sherbet.
  • Drink cold beverages, such as milk or ice water.
  • Avoid acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, fruit drinks and soda.
  • Avoid salty or spicy foods.
  • Eat soft foods that don't require much chewing.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water after meals.

If your child is able to rinse without swallowing, swishing with warm salt water may be soothing. Have your child do this several times a day or as often as needed to help reduce the pain and inflammation of mouth and throat sores caused by hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Prevention

Certain precautions can help to reduce the risk of infection with hand-foot-and-mouth disease:

  • Wash hands carefully. Be sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper and before preparing food and eating. When soap and water aren't available, use hand wipes or gels treated with germ-killing alcohol.
  • Disinfect common areas. Get in the habit of cleaning high-traffic areas and surfaces first with soap and water, then with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water. Child care centers should follow a strict schedule of cleaning and disinfecting all common areas, including shared items such as toys, as the virus can live on these objects for days. Clean your baby's pacifiers often.
  • Teach good hygiene. Show your children how to practice good hygiene and how to keep themselves clean. Explain to them why it's best not to put their fingers, hands or any other objects in their mouths.
  • Isolate contagious people. Because hand-foot-and-mouth disease is highly contagious, people with the illness should limit their exposure to others while they have active signs and symptoms. Keep children with hand-foot-and-mouth disease out of child care or school until fever is gone and mouth sores have healed. If you have the illness, stay home from work.
July 26, 2017
References
  1. Modlin JF. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of enterovirus and parechovirus infections. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2017.
  2. Longo DL, et al. Enterovirus, parechovirus, and reovirus infections. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 28, 2017.
  3. Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/index.html. Accessed March 28, 2017.
  4. Hand, foot, and mouth disease information sheet. World Health Organization. http://www.wpro.who.int/emerging_diseases/hfmd.information.sheet/en/#. Accessed March 28, 2017.
  5. Modlin JF. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of enterovirus and parechovirus infections. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 28, 2017.
  6. Romero JR. Hand, foot, and mouth disease and herpangina. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 5, 2017.