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Let’s talk Hand, Foot and Mouth

Understanding Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: A Homeopathic Perspective

Ok, so let’s get one thing straight – Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is caused by the Coxsackie

A virus. You can’t get it from animals, and it has nothing to do with animal foot and mouth disease.

If you have a preschool tot, chances are you have come across this one in your travels, but before your mini-me's existed, you were relatively naïve to the infection and when it came to your limelight you were like…’what, mad cows disease’…yes, I can only assume you are all dramatic and over the top 🙂

The symptoms can look quite frightening as your tot’s hands and feet blister up and peel, they can get little oozing sores around their mouth and ulcers in their mouth. This little gem is a relative of the chickenpox virus and is actually a good one for our littlies to get as it, like all illness, acts to strengthen their immune systems and although looks nasty, is not usually a difficult one for them to fight.

Baby's hand showing signs of Hand Foot and Mouth disease
Red spots and blisters on a child's hand, a common symptom of this viral infection.

Like all viruses, it starts with an incubation period which means they were in contact with another little humanoid who touched, coughed, licked or sneezed near your humanoid. So for 4-6 days you may find yourself in the care of a fussy, sooky, or quiet one and not be able to pinpoint what is going on.

Similar to other illnesses, even though there are key characteristic signs that appear, they often do not emerge until after the incubation period, when the virus is set in and ready to come out. Even still, these symptoms will vary from child to child.

For example, some get fever spikes during incubation, some don’t. Some lose their appetite, others don’t. Some look like they have drool rash on their chin and others look as though they have been attacked on the mouth. Even the ulcers in the mouth differ as some little ones find them painful and others may look painful but the child doesn't even notice them.

That is why, in essence, you simply observe what is going on and treat homeopathically accordingly. So, when you have a fever, reach for your Belladonna or Ferrum phos depending on the fever picture. However, I do usually advise that you are best to try and let their immune system kick in on its own in illnesses that can be quite sympathetic in their symptoms.

So, if they have ulcers, only treat with a homeopathic such as Merc Sol, if you find that the ulcers are painful or becoming worse. If you notice that your child is simply moving through the motions of this virus well, leave their little immune systems to handle the job!

There are, of course, a few known remedies that help move HFM along a little such as Bryonia, Ant-tart and Pulsatilla.

Often after your child has been teething or has been sick, you will notice a development, breakthrough or milestone of some sort – whether it be that their tracksuit pants all of a sudden look like knickerbockers or whether they start saying cat rather than just meowing around the place. This is all part of the bodies natural way of growing – in all levels and it never ceases to amaze me to watch.

A young boy with his hands in front of his face, showing a rash
Trust your instincts, and always seek advice if you feel unsure

Fevers and rashes can be scary for most parents so if you are unsure what you are dealing with, consult your homeopath or doctor for advice. Otherwise, succumb to stopping everything and being with your tiny human, reading, singing and cuddling up for the day. I know that I always fight the first day my little one is sick thinking of all I have to do and by the second day when all the toys are strewn around the house and I am hanging out in my ugg boots, I relax and enjoy the spontaneous and precious time with her.

Hope this has been helpful.

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