Infant and Children, Immune | April 10, 2019 | Author: Naturopath
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a mild viral disease which often affects children. The usual viral culprit is from a collection of enteroviruses called the coxsackie group, and particularly coxsackie virus A16. The illness can lasts from 7 – 10 days.
HFMD more often occurs in warmer weather, is easily spread from child to child and family members, and mainly affects children under the age of 10. This is why it is commonly found in child care centres. Most people would have been infected with the virus by the time they are adults.
This disease has no relationship with foot and mouth from live-stock.
Symptoms can start anywhere between 3 -5 days after contamination with infection.
The virus can affect the spinal cord and brain causing seizures and confusion, but this is a rare occurrence.
The diagnoses for HFMD is made by the doctor and usually from symptoms noted. In some instances, a sample from the throat or faeces may be taken to confirm.
Treatment in based on symptom relief and HFMD will usually resolve itself within 7-10 days. As this is an infectious disease, the patient should be kept isolated until blisters have dried and are crusty.
The blister as they contain infectious material, let them resolve naturally. If the fever remains high,the patient has a severe headache or you are concerned, seek medical help immediately.
HFMD is spread from contact with the fluid from blisters, from saliva, nasal or oral discharge, coughing and faeces. The blisters are infectious till they become crusty but infection from faeces can last for weeks.
Good hygiene practices are most important to help prevent the spread of any diseases including HFMD. This means thorough handwashing with soap – regularly but especially after nose wiping, toilet and nappy changes or if in contact with blisters.
If your child is associating closely with other children and you would like to prevent HFMD and other viral infections as much as possible, there are things you can do.
Not receiving enough sleep will leave a body susceptible to many infectious agents. Children need more sleep than adults. Toddlers require 11 -14 hours a day and pre-schoolers 10-13 hours a day. This is mainly taken at night but littlies will often benefit from an after-lunch nap/rest time and it is a good practice to set a bed time. Encouraging an afternoon rest time also gives children (and parents) time out to recoup.
Under-nutrition impairs the immune system and suppresses immune functions which are essential protection for the body.
Probiotics –. The action of probiotic bacteria offer protection against viral infection. They offer several immunomodulatory effects to help the body
Vitamin C – improves immunity
Zinc – demand is increased with infection
Echinacea – helps modulate the immune system. Echinacea may be take regularly to help prevent infection or at first sign of any infection
Elderberry – can help with mucus, fevers and inflammation
How much sleep do we really need? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150211132111.htm
Human immune system during sleep https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5768894/
Fisher, Carole; 2009, MATERIA MEDICA OF WESTERN HERBS, Vitex Medica, New Zealand.
Henry, Osiecki; The Nutrient Bible 9th Edition, Bio Concepts, AG Publishing; QLD, Australia
Diet, immunity and functional foods. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18841705
Probiotics: effects on immunity https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/73/2/444s/4737576
Probiotics and immune health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/