Hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by a virus.

The virus takes about three to five days to develop. Your child can get this disease more than once.

Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease are:

  • small white spots or canker sores on the mouth or tongue
  • rash (blisters or bumps) on the palms of the hands and spaces between the fingers and the soles of her feet and spaces between the toes (rash occurs about half of the time)
  • fever

How to make your child more comfortable

  • Give your child extra liquids.
  • Give your child soft foods like ice cream, pudding and yogurt.

Antibiotics will not help treat hand, foot and mouth disease. The virus will have to run its course.

When to call your health care provider

Call your health care provider for an appointment if your child refuses to drink enough to maintain a normal amount of urination.

Related resources

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. For inclusivity, this guide uses "them" and "their."
Reviewed By: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
First Published: 02/01/2010
Last Reviewed: 01/01/2016