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What’s Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?

“It’s going around,” is a common phrase I hear from parents. Right now, the normal seasonal increase in coxsackie virus (hand, foot, and mouth disease) is in full swing and we are seeing tons of kids with typical symptoms in the office. Even the mention of hand, foot mouth disease can send typically calm parents into full panic. I’m hoping after reading this article, that parents will realize that while this illness can certainly make your little one feel very uncomfortable, it is rarely life threatening or dangerous. Typically, with some time, love and good pain control, your little one will seem back to himself in a few days.

Here’s are five things your pediatrician wants you to know about hand, foot and mouth disease:

  1. It’s a virus. Hand, foot and mouth disease is an infection that is caused by a virus known as the coxsackie virus. I like to tell parents, “it’s a virus with a name.” It is no different than your child having a cold, it is just a different set of symptoms. And just because a virus has a name does not mean it will make a child sicker or is more dangerous than other viruses. Fun fact: it is named after a town in upstate New York where the virus was discovered.

  1. Symptoms can vary. Typical symptoms include: fever, sores on the back of the throat, fussiness, and a rash on the hands, feet and often buttocks. The rash typically looks like small red raised spots or bump and can look like blisters. The sores in the mouth can be very painful and may cause your little one to have increased drooling or decreased food intake. The rash is not usually painful but can sometimes cause a little itching. It is possible for a child to have hand, foot and mouth without having a fever. Not everyone who contracts this virus will have the exact same symptoms.

  1. It’s very contagious. The coxsackie virus is very contagious. It is spread by contact with an infected person’s saliva, mucous, or traces of bowel movements. Children are most contagious while they have fevers and sores in the mouth. Good hand washing, especially after changing diapers, is super important. It is also important to clean toys, table tops and other things your little one is touching. Unfortunately, this virus has multiple strains, so even if your child already had this virus, he or she can get it again, even in the same season.

  1. The treatment is NOT antibiotics. Since the infection itself is a virus, the treatment goals are keeping your little one comfortable and hydrated. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be very helpful with pain control. Dosing is weight based and can be found on the Premier Pediatrics website. Never give aspirin to children. Encourage your little one to drink, and try to give him or her cool liquids or foods. The cool temperature helps relieve throat pain plus it gives them liquids. If you have any concerns about your child (such as he or she seems unusually irritable or lethargic, has headache or neck stiffness, is refusing to drink, is running fevers for more than three days), you should call your pediatrician right away.

  1. Yes, adults can get it! While, coxsackie virus is more common in children, adults can contract this illness as well.

Lately, it does seem like everyone has coxsackie virus. But try not to worry too much: the virus is rarely dangerous and typically resolves on its own with time. So, while it’s a major bummer if your little one and/or you get it, you are in good company and can feel better knowing that, hopefully, your little one only needs 5 to 7 days to be up and running again. And don’t forget that hand washing is the best method of prevention, so load up on the soap and water and get scrubbing!

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

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Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

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Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

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boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

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Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

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Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

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Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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