Blister in the Sun: Hand Foot and Mouth

Eva Alessia, D.O.

Eva Alessia, D.O.

It’s summertime, even though the outside temperature may not reflect it!  Even in summer, kids can get sick.  A common summertime illness is Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM).  It has no relation to Hoof and Mouth.  HFM is caused by a virus, usually Coxsackie A-16.

Children age 6 months to 4 years old are most susceptible, but it can happen in any age.  Fever can be present, generally not more than 102° F.  Small blisters or red spots can happen on the palms, soles and buttocks, but sometimes you can see them on other areas of the body.  Small ulcers in the mouth are typical.  Because of the ulcers, the child may not want to eat solid foods. Sometimes, the ulcers are so severe that the child doesn’t even want to drink!  It is rare, but a child may need to be admitted to the hospital for dehydration.

Recovery from HFM takes about 7 to 10 days.  The main things for parents to do are to encourage drinking fluids, give acetaminophen or hfm virus pictureibuprofen for fever and pain. Sometimes, your child’s doctor may recommend “Magic Mouthwash” – a 1:1 ratio of Maalox or Mylanta and liquid diphenydramine (Benadryl).  It is generally given four times a day and your child’s doctor will tell you the dose/amount.  HFM can be contagious; it is most contagious before the rash pops up, so the “damage is done” before you even know that your child is sick.  Once the fever breaks, the child is no longer contagious and can return to daycare or camp.  Good hand washing is the main way to prevent infection.

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Have a healthy summer!


Eczema 101: Do You Have the Itch?

Eczema is a general term used to describe an inflammation of the skin with can cause itching, oozing, weeping, crusting or scaling. Even though there are several different kinds of eczema, in a pediatrician’s office, you will often hear the terms “eczema” and “atopic dermatitis” used interchangeably. The symptoms of eczema are caused by a […]

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Kyla Ababio, M.D.

Kyla Ababio, M.D.

Any parents of toddlers know that it is one of the most challenging phases of childhood. Your once non-verbal precious peanut who just wanted to be held, rocked and fed, now seems to only want to scream “I can do it by myself”, or “NO”, or “That’s mine!” and “Don’t tell me what to do!” That is their way of asserting control and declaring independence. During this phase they must also master control over their body functions including toilet-training, self-feeding, delayed gratification, language development, coping with frustration and social skills. Parenting is most challenging and rewarding when toddlerhood is done well. Here’s how to help your child with her tantrums from an article that I read in Parents magazine:toddler mischief

1. Be genuinely empathic to your toddler’s struggle. She needs your support. If she feels you’re flustered, disorganized, angry, or critical you will only escalate her rage and not be able to help her calm down. Your objective is to teach her how to settle herself.

2. Learn to talk reflectively with empathy in the moment of a conflict. You might say, “Mary (use her first name since pronouns are not mastered until age 4) wanted more video and Mommy said it’s bath time. Mary got mad. It’s hard to stop when you want more.”

3. Physically, walk your screaming child to her next destination, ie: to the bath to help her settle and calm down there. Children will escalate their yelling and protest, thinking you might change your no to a yes. If you are away from the location of the desired object your child will calm down faster.

4. If your child is out of control or has been aggressive (hitting, biting, scratching, or pinching), hold your child in your lap facing away from you to help calm your child. The holding provides a safe container so you can act as a receptacle for your child’s rage. Your child learns that she can be super angry and you do not attack, criticize, blame, or collapse as the target for their rage. Tell your child that when she stops pulling on you, you will let go. The moment her muscles relax, release her and praise her for learning to settle herself. You will not have to hold her too many times before you see a decrease in the frequency and intensity of her oppositional tantrums.

5. Do not lecture your child. Kids hate to be told what to do. Rather, after a tantrum talk gently with your child about what she wanted and was feeling. Together come up with alternative ways she can get what she wants without a meltdown. Always accept your child where she is. We are all on a learning curve. No one is perfect. We all want the same thing – to be acknowledged, validated, and accepted – flaws and all.

Just remember that this is just a phase and it too shall pass!