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What are the symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease in children?

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Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease in children include a sore throat, fever, a headache, irritability and a poor appetite, according to Healthline. Children with hand, foot and mouth disease may also develop painful red blisters on the tongue, gums and mouth, as well as a red rash on the soles of the feet and the hands. The rash is not usually itchy but may be painful.

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The red blisters that develop with the condition may break open or crust over and typically disappear in approximately one week, explains WebMD. Some children don't exhibit any symptoms when suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease.

An enterovirus is the causal agent for hand, foot and mouth disease; virus transmission is usually through sneezing and coughing, according to WebMD. Children can also contract the virus through infected stool, such as when they touch their stool during a diaper change or touch objects that have been exposed to infected stool. Symptoms do not commonly appear until three to six days after a child has contracted the virus; this is the incubation period.

Hand, foot and mouth disease does not require medical treatment, explains WebMD. Doctors commonly recommend home care. Cool fluids can help soothe and remedy the sore throat, and children should avoid acidic or spicy foods. Parents can treat fever and pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, in consultation with a medical professional.

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