Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Image

School has been in session for a few months now. During the school year, it may seem like your kids get sick more often than during the summer. One common virus that is spread among young kids is hand, foot, and mouth. Let’s dive into what you need to know about this common virus.

What Is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth is a virus commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16, coxsackievirus A6, or enterovirus 71. It usually occurs during the summer and fall but you can get it any time of the year. It is most common in kids under five years old but anyone can get it.

How Is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Spread?

Hand, foot, and mouth is easily transmissible by person-to-person contact, respiratory droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person, or contact with contaminated surfaces. People who are infected are usually most contagious during the first week that they are sick.

What Are the Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth?

Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth include fever, changes in appetite, sore throat, feeling unwell, pain when swallowing, drooling, only wanting cold fluids, and skin rash. The rash is often on the hands, feet, or mouth but it can occur all over the body.

What Is the Treatment for Hand, Foot, and Mouth?

Hand, foot, and mouth is a viral and has no specific medication to treat it. Most people will get better on their own in seven to ten days. Supportive measures such as drinking plenty of fluids and over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended. If your child is having trouble staying hydrated, is not improving, has a high fever, is immunocompromised, is younger than six months old, or has very severe symptoms they should see a doctor.

What You Should Do If Your Child Has Hand, Foot, and Mouth?

Hand, foot, and mouth is very contagious. Prevent it from spreading in your household by having everyone practice frequent hand washing, disinfecting common surfaces, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. If your child goes to school or daycare, notify them that your child has hand, foot, and mouth. Do not send them back to school until your doctor has cleared them to return. Your child should stay home. If anyone else starts to have symptoms they should also stay home.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, February 2). Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved November 11, 2022