Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreaks Are Common

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease is a common childhood illness that causes sores to appear either in or on the mouth of an infected child, as well as in the hands and feet; hence the name. This disease is caused by an enterovirus, and easily spreads via coughing, sneezing, or exposure to infected stool. Due to the various ways that the disease can spread, community outbreaks of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease are a common occurrence.

Not to be confused with Foot-and-Mouth disease, which is common among livestock, Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease symptoms usually appear anywhere from three to seven days after exposure to the enterovirus. After this incubation period, a child may begin to experience a sore throat, fatigue, or a fever. The trademark blisters associated with the disease often appear within a day or two after the onset of the initial symptoms.

Typically, Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease is not a serious illness, with the sores usually disappearing on their own after a week. However, the virus can easily stay in a child’s stool for a few months after symptoms disappear. As such, teaching children to wash their hands properly and often, and covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing can help prevent the rapid spread of the disease.If you suspect that you’re child has Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease, contact your pediatrician for proper diagnosis, and to ask for other tips that can help relieve the discomfort of your child.

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Children and Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis, more commonly referred to as pink eye, is one of the more common medical conditions that children experience. Pink eye involves a swelling of the conjunctiva; and can easily be identified by the characteristic reddening of the white of the eye, and by the presence of a colored discharge that often crusts over the eyes. Pink eye can be brought about by a viral or bacterial infection, or from overexposure to an allergen, such as dust.

Pink eye, especially when caused by a virus, is very contagious. A simple touch of an eye can instantly infect a healthy person. As such, parents should impress upon their children the importance of washing their hands before and after touching their eyes, especially if another kid from the child’s school has been diagnosed with pink eye.

Although pink eye is typically not a very serious illness, and usually resolves itself on its own, parents who suspect their child is suffering from pink eye should see a pediatrician to determine the cause of the condition, and if any special treatment is necessary. If the child experiences a sensitivity to light, blurred vision, experiences severe eye pain, or has a weak immune system, he has to be brought to a pediatrician immediately.