Thursday, May 31, 2012

Useful Information about Hand-Foot-Mouth

Useful Information about Hand-Foot-Mouth


Hand-foot-and-mouth disease — a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children — is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.
There's no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. You can reduce your risk of infection from hand-foot-and-mouth disease by practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands often and thoroughly.


Hand-foot-and-mouth disease may cause some or all of the following signs and symptoms:
·                                 Fever
·                                 Sore throat
·                                 Feeling of being unwell (malaise)
·                                 Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks
·                                 A red rash, without itching but sometimes with blistering, on the palms, soles and sometimes the buttocks
·                                 Irritability in infants and toddlers
·                                 Loss of appetite
The usual period from initial infection to the onset of signs and symptoms (incubation period) is three to seven days. A fever is often the first sign of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, followed by a sore throat and sometimes a poor appetite and malaise. One or two days after the fever begins, painful sores may develop in the mouth or throat. A rash on the hands and feet and possibly on the buttocks can follow within one or two days.
When to see a doctor 
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild signs and symptoms. Contact your doctor, however, if mouth sores or a sore throat keep your child from drinking fluids. Contact your doctor also if after a few days, your child's signs and symptoms worsen.


The most common cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is infection with the coxsackievirus A16. The coxsackievirus belongs to a group of viruses called nonpolio enteroviruses. Other enteroviruses sometimes cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Oral ingestion is the main source of coxsackievirus infection and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The illness spreads by person-to-person contact with an infected person's:
·                                 Nasal secretions or throat discharge
·                                 Saliva
·                                 Fluid from blisters
·                                 Stool
·                                 Respiratory droplets sprayed into the air after a cough or sneeze
Common in child care setting 
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most common in children in child care settings because of frequent diaper changes and potty training, and because little children often put their hands in their mouths.
Although your child is most contagious with hand-foot-and-mouth disease during the first week of the illness, the virus can remain in his or her body for weeks after the signs and symptoms are gone. That means your child still can infect others.
Some people, particularly adults, can pass the virus without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease.
Outbreaks of the disease are more common in summer and autumn in the United States and other temperate climates. In tropical climates, outbreaks occur year-round.
Different from foot-and-mouth disease 
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease isn't related to foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease), which is an infectious viral disease found in farm animals. You can't contract hand-foot-and-mouth disease from pets or other animals, and you can't transmit it to them.

Risk factors

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease primarily affects children younger than age 10. Children in child care centers are especially susceptible to outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease because the infection spreads by person-to-person contact, and young children are the most susceptible.
Children usually develop immunity to hand-foot-and-mouth disease as they get older by building antibodies after exposure to the virus that causes the disease. However, it's possible for adolescents and adults to get the disease.


The most common complication of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is dehydration. The illness can cause sores in the mouth and throat, making swallowing painful and difficult. Watch closely to make sure your child frequently sips fluid during the course of the illness. If dehydration is severe, intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is usually a minor illness causing only a few days of fever and relatively mild signs and symptoms. However, a rare and sometimes serious form of the coxsackievirus can involve the brain and cause other complications:
·                                 Viral meningitis. This is an infection and inflammation of the membranes (meninges) and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Viral meningitis is usually mild and often clears on its own.
·                                 Encephalitis. This severe and potentially life-threatening disease involves brain inflammation caused by a virus. Encephalitis is rare.

To help lessen discomfort, doctors often recommend:
·                                 Getting rest
·                                 Drinking fluids — milk-based fluids may be easier to tolerate than acidic liquids, such as juice or soda
·                                 Taking over-the-counter pain relievers other than aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), if needed, but they're not necessary for low-grade fevers
·                                 Using mouthwash or oral spray to numb pain

Treatments and drugs

There's no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Signs and symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease usually clear up in seven to 10 days.
A topical oral anesthetic may help relieve the pain of mouth sores. Over-the-counter pain medications other than aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), may help relieve general discomfort.

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 the inside of his or her mouth with warm salt water may be soothing. Mix 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) of salt with 1 cup (237 milliliters) of warm water. Have your child rinse with this solution 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.


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, approximately 1/4 cup (59 milliliters) of bleach to 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of 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, church or school until fever is gone and mouth sores have healed. If you have the illness, stay home from work and church.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nursing Jobs?

My little sister just graduated from nursing school and will be moving out here to live with us at the beginning of June.  She will be looking for a job as soon as she gets here.  She would love to work in pediatrics, but I think she will take pretty much any good job she can get.  If you know of any openings will you let me know?

-Linda Chaplin