What to do if you or your child has hand, foot and mouth disease

If you have hand, foot and mouth disease, the best thing to do is to stay at home until you're feeling better. There's no cure for it, so you have to let it run its course.

To help ease your or your child's symptoms:

  • drink plenty of fluids toavoid dehydration water or milk are ideal; it may help to givea baby smaller but more frequent bottle or breast milk feeds
  • eatsoft foods such as mashed potatoes, yoghurtand soups if eating and swallowing is uncomfortable avoid hot, acidic or spicy foods and drinks
  • take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen , toease a sore throat and fever aspirin shouldn't be given to children under the age of 16;paracetamol is best if you're pregnant
  • try gargling with warm, salty water to relieve discomfort from mouth ulcers it's importantnot to swallow the mixture, so this isn't recommended for young children
  • alternatively, use mouth gels, rinses or sprays for mouth ulcers these are available from pharmacies, but aren't routinely recommended, and some aren't suitable for young children; ask your pharmacist for advice and make sure you read the instructions first

You should keep your child away from nursery or school until they're feeling better.Adults with the condition should stay away from work until they're feeling better.

See preventing hand, foot and mouth disease below for more information about stoppingthe infection spreading.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018