KidsMD Health Topics

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease in Children

  • Overview

    Hand-foot-mouth disease is a common viral illness that affects infants and children, often appearing as a rash of small, blister-like bumps in the hands, feet and mouth.

    • Hand-foot-mouth disease is caused by the coxsackie virus.
    • It's very common in children under the age of 10.
    • Hand-foot-mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which affects cattle, sheep and pigs. However, the two diseases are not related.
    • The disease is seen most often in the summer and fall.
    • Good hand washing helps prevent the spread of the disease.
    • Lots of fluids and acetaminophen helps reduce severity of the symptoms.

    How Boston Children's Hospital approaches hand-foot-mouth disease

    The Children's Hospital Informatics Program created HealthMap, an online resource and smart phone application that helps track the spread of contagious diseases, including Hand-Foot-Mouth disease, in real time.

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