Today is Child Health Day. Since the global knock of coronavirus, people are becoming very aware of the health of children. If we talk in the context of India, especially in the era of nuclear families in metro cities, taking care of the health of children is a challenging task. Children also come in contact with many people when they go out for educational and sports activities. In such a situation, keeping them healthy becomes an additional responsibility of the parents. In the last few days, reports of increasing incidence of HFMD in children came to light from many schools in Delhi-NCR. Classes were also closed in many nursery and play schools. Health Department also directed that if children show symptoms of HFMD, then they should not be allowed to come to school.
What is HFMD?
HFMD stands for Hand Foot Mouth Disease. This is a serious disease. It usually affects children in the age group of 2 to 5 years. On the occasion of Child Health Day, Consultant Pediatrician & Neonatologist Dr. Neha Srivastava explains its causes, symptoms, and prevention.
HFMD is a contagious viral infection. It has been seen in children aged 2 to 5 years. It is mostly caused by COXSACKIE VIRUS A16 and ENTERO VIRUS 71. It is usually spread through the saliva and feces of children. Children come in contact with other children or share each other's toys. Small children also have a habit of putting their hands in their mouths. Due to these reasons, children are usually affected by this disease.
Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease:
In this, there are blisters in the mouth of the child. But many times the blisters are not visible and as the effect of fever increases then the blisters start appearing. That is why as a precaution, its other symptoms like fever, sore throat, and loss of appetite should also be monitored. Children whose immunity is weak, it affects the most. It takes about 7-10 days to cure this disease. Avoid sending the child to school or the park until the rash is completely dry. Due to this, there is a risk of spreading the infection to other children as well.
Protect the child from HFMD:
- It is a disease spread through coughing, sneezing, and saliva, so keep the infected child away from other children.
- Do not share food or water with the child.
- Keep the child away from the mucus coming out of the nose and lungs.
- Consume immunity-boosting foods.
- Get the children hand-washed at regular intervals.
As per the IAP recommendations, the treatment of HFMD is most helpful and directed towards the relief of pain, and lowering hydration. HFMD is a self-limiting disease, so it usually subsides by minimal use of analgesics. Most cases recover within a week or 10 days without residual sequelae. In some cases, complications may arise, mostly happening in immunocompromised patients.