Health bosses are warning parents to look out for the symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease after a spate of cases.
Common mostly in children under 10, the first signs of the disease include a high temperature, loss of appetite, a cough and sore throat and mouth.
Red spots then appear on the tongue and inside of the mouth a couple of days later.
The spots can turn into painful ulcers that make eating and drinking difficult.
A rash may develop on the skin that’s made up of small red spots which normally develop on the fingers, hands and the soles of the feet.
These may turn to blisters with a greyish centre and can become itchy and uncomfortable.
Parents are being reminded of the symptoms after a spate of cases in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale clinics.
A Facebook post from the HMR Paediatric Nurse Practitioners states: “We have had quite a few cases of hand foot and mouth disease in our clinics lately so it seems it might be doing the rounds in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale.
“Viruses such as hand foot and mouth are spread through close contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces.
“To help prevent the spread ensure you wash your hands and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Avoid allowing your child to share dummies and cups etc and wash clothing and bedding regularly.
“Children are safe to return to school or nursery as soon as they are feeling better there is no need to stay off until the blisters have all healed as with viruses such as chicken pox.”
There is no cure because it is caused by a virus and antibiotics won’t help.
You can normally manage your child at home and it should clear on its own.
To help your child recover you can:
- Keep them at home until they are feeling better.
- Keep them hydrated – Offer plenty of fluids and give younger children smaller, more frequent feeds.
- Offer soft foods. This will help if your child is experiencing a sore mouth or throat from the ulcers.
- Give Paracetamol to relieve pain and discomfort related to temperature (always follow the instructions on the box).
Although most cases won’t need medical attention it is important to see a Doctor or Nurse if your child displays the following symptoms:
- Stops drinking or displays any signs of dehydration (Dry lips, mouth and eyes, reduced urine output, no tears when crying, sunken soft spot (in babies)).
- Has an altered conscious level (unusually tired or unrousable).
- Experiences seizures (fits).
- Is under three months and has a temperature of over 38 degrees.
- Is aged 3-6 months with a temperature of 39 degrees and above.
- If the skin becomes very painful, red, swollen, hot to touch or discharges puss.
- If symptoms don’t improve after 7-10 days.
Further information can be found at: beta.nhs.uk/conditions/hand-foot-and-mouth-disease/
Source : Chroniclelive