What You Need To Know About Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD)


If you’re a parent with young children, chances are you’d have heard of hand, foot and mouth disease, more commonly known as HFMD. While some might already be familiar with the disease, it’s always important to take precautions to ensure that your kids stay healthy and HFMD-free. Here’s what every parent needs to know in order to be prepared!


What is HFMD?


A common but highly infectious childhood illness, hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by a large family of viruses known as Enteroviruses, which is responsible for a wide spectrum of viral infections that affect millions of people in the world. HFMD is most common in children younger than the age of 10, but older children and adults can contract it too.


What are the common symptoms to look out for?


Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) among children is not uncommon in Singapore. Symptoms are typically mild and resolve on their own within a week. However, in some cases, HFMD can lead to severe complications.


At the initial stage, a child with HFMD may display the following symptoms:


  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Blister-like rash on palms of the hands and oles of the feet
  • Rash may also appear on knees, elbows, buttocks, and genital area

Safeguard your child against HFMD with BioCair’


As HFMD escalates, it can further develop into severe complications, especially if caused by the EV 71 virus. These may involve infections of the brain, lungs, or heart, which can be serious and even fatal.


Here are some signs of complications:


  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Neck stiffness
  • Disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Breathlessness
  • Cyanosis

Treatment for HFMD in children primarily focuses on providing symptomatic relief, as there is no specific cure for the viral infection. Antibiotics are not recommended as they may not be effective against viruses. If you suspect your child has HFMD, it’s essential to seek professional medical advice.


Preventing HFMD involves adopting good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection and transmission. Here are some useful tips:


  • Guide your child to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or after using the toilet.
  • Remind your child to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, and toys.
  • Remind your child to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, to prevent virus transmission.
  • Minimise close contact with infected individuals.
  • Avoid sharing eating utensils.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)


Most cases of HFMD in children can be managed by a family doctor or at the polyclinic. However, it’s important to bring your child to the Children’s Emergency if you notice any of the following symptoms:


  • Poor oral intake of fluids or persistent vomiting
  • Dry tongue or decreased urine output (signs of dehydration)
  • Lethargy, drowsiness, irritability, or disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin
  • Acute headache, giddiness, or neck stiffness

How does HFMD spread?


The disease is spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets, saliva, or fluid from the blisters of an infected individual. It can be transmitted through stools as well, so it’s important to wash your hands right away after changing diapers or soiled underwear. In addition, parents should avoid intimate contact such as kissing, hugging or sharing utensils with your child. You can also risk getting infected if you come into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces like children’s high chairs, toys and clothes.


HFMD is the most contagious in its first week, so we advise you to refrain from visiting crowded settings such as schools, daycare centres and shopping malls for at least 10 days after the symptoms have appeared.


Tip: If you’re a caregiver, we recommend taking preventive measures by disinfecting your home regularly with BioCair to safeguard yourself and other family members who have not been exposed yet. For those with two or more children in the household, try to separate the infected child from the other kids in two different rooms – and make sure to keep both areas clean and well-disinfected. This will help to keep bacteria levels to a minimum, and ensure a safe environment for everyone.


Safeguard your child against HFMD with BioCair


Aside from practicing good hand hygiene, parents need to remain vigilant and step up disinfection efforts to prevent the spread of HFMD – be it indoors or outdoors.


At home, it’s important to keep your environment clean, disinfected and germ-free with our BioCair Dry-Mist Disinfection Machines. Use it with the BioActive Anti-HFMD Air Purifying Solution to keep the HFMD nasties at bay. To reap the optimal benefit, turn on the machine for at least more than an hour per day, either before or during sleep. If there’s someone who contracted HFMD at home, it’s highly recommended to keep the machine running for more than an hour for better prevention.


Don’t forget to disinfect high-touch areas like potty chairs, crib rails and diaper-changing mats with the BioActive Anti-HFMD Pocket Spray! Non-toxic, non-irritant and contains zero alcohol, this child-friendly disinfectant is formulated to eliminate 99.999% of HFMD germs in less than a minute. What’s more, it’s proven to be safe for ingestion and inhalation so you can even spray it onto their pacifiers and bottles without worrying about any harmful effects.


You can also bring it out to disinfect in a pinch when you’re outdoors, keeping you and your tot safe at all times.


With BioCair, you can do your part to protect you and your loved ones from HFMD.


What is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)?

HFMD is a common viral infection that primarily affects infants and young children. It is characterised by fever, sore throat, and a rash with blister-like lesions on the hands, feet, and mouth.

What causes HFMD?

HFMD is caused by several types of viruses, most commonly Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackievirus A16.

Is HFMD contagious?

Yes, HFMD is highly contagious and can spread easily through close contact with infected individuals, as well as through respiratory droplets and contaminated surfaces.

How is HFMD diagnosed?

HFMD is usually diagnosed based on the characteristic symptoms observed during a physical examination. In some cases, a throat swab or stool sample may be collected for laboratory testing to confirm the presence of the virus.

How is HFMD treated?

There is no specific treatment for HFMD, as it is a viral infection. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and managing complications, such as fever and pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers, fever reducers, and topical treatments for mouth sores may be recommended by a healthcare provider.


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