Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

ExitCare ImageHand, foot, and mouth disease is an illness caused by a type of germ (virus). Most people are better in 1 week. It can spread easily (contagious). It can be spread through contact with an infected persons:

  • Spit (saliva).

  • Snot (nasal discharge).

  • Poop (stool).


  • Feed your child healthy foods and drinks.

  • Avoid salty, spicy, or acidic foods or drinks.

  • Offer soft foods and cold drinks.

  • Ask your doctor about replacing body fluid loss (rehydration).

  • Avoid bottles for younger children if it causes pain. Use a cup, spoon, or syringe.

  • Keep your child out of childcare, schools, or other group settings during the first few days of the illness, or until they are without fever.


  • Your child has signs of body fluid loss (dehydration):

  • Peeing (urinating) less.

  • Dry mouth, tongue, or lips.

  • Decreased tears or sunken eyes.

  • Dry skin.

  • Fast breathing.

  • Fussy behavior.

  • Poor color or pale skin.

  • Fingertips take more than 2 seconds to turn pink again after a gentle squeeze.

  • Fast weight loss.

  • Your child's pain does not get better.

  • Your child has a severe headache, stiff neck, or has a change in behavior.

  • Your child has sores (ulcers) or blisters on the lips or outside of the mouth.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your child's condition.

  • Will get help right away if your child is not doing well or gets worse.