Hand, foot and mouth disease is an infectious disease that can be caused by many viruses, the disease spreads from person to person and has the risk of forming a large outbreak. The disease has many dangerous complications and especially progresses very quickly within a few hours. Therefore, early recognition and care of children with diseases are very important factors to help reduce the incidence and serious complications in children.
According to statistics, the number of children with hand, foot and mouth disease visiting the National Children’s Hospital is on an increasing trend. In April and May, the hospital recorded 776 children with hand, foot and mouth disease coming to the clinic, an increase of 759 cases compared to the previous 2 months. Among them, 114 children were hospitalized for treatment.
At the National Children’s Hospital, baby TA (31 months old) was hospitalized on the 5th day due to hand, foot and mouth disease, high fever, sore mouth. When examining the whole body, the doctors noticed that the skin on the thighs on both sides of the baby was scattered with dry blisters. Now after 3 days of treatment, the child has no fever and can eat.
Dr. BS Do Thien Hai – Deputy Director of the Center for Tropical Diseases, National Children’s Hospital, said that hand, foot and mouth disease occurs all year round, especially the season change period is the most favorable time for the virus to cause disease. develop.
Children with hand, foot and mouth disease often have symptoms such as: Fever (mild fever or high fever) and skin lesions (redness, blisters in special locations such as throat, around the mouth, palms, soles, etc.) buttocks, knees…). However, there are some children who only have mouth ulcers or small bumps on the buttocks or groin, if the family does not pay attention, it is difficult to detect.
For example, a baby HN (15 months old) was admitted to the hospital because of a high fever of 39-40 degrees that did not go down, fussiness, sore mouth, and inability to eat. Parents only think that their children have fever and mouth sores, so they can’t eat. They don’t know that their children have hand, foot and mouth disease, because at home, their hands and feet are not well.
According to Dr. BS Do Thien Hai, most children with the disease have mild symptoms, but if not detected and treated in time, the disease can also have many dangerous complications such as shock, encephalitis, meningitis. , myocarditis, acute pulmonary edema, even leading to death.
“When detecting that a child has an illness, the family should take the child to a medical facility for advice on how to take care, how to detect severe symptoms so that they can bring the child to timely treatment. Researching online and then arbitrarily taking medicine, can make the child’s illness worse, “said Dr. BS Hai.
Also according to TS.BS Do Thien Hai, there have been many cases of children with severe complications because the family did not know, so they ignored the unfortunate warning signs. If a child has 1 of the 3 symptoms below, parents need to immediately take the child to a medical facility for timely examination and treatment.
Three early warning signs of severe disease:
High fever unresponsive to treatment: The child has a fever above 38.5 degrees for more than 48 hours and does not respond to antipyretic drugs.
Startle: This is a sign of neurotoxicity. Watch for this symptom even while the child is playing, and see if the frequency of startles increases over time.
Persistent fussiness: The baby may cry a lot, even cry all night without sleep. Babies sleep for 15-20 minutes, wake up crying for 15-20 minutes and then go back to sleep. Many parents often explain that their baby has sore mouth spots, but that is not the case. It is due to neurotoxicity at a very early stage.
Measures to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease:
There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for the disease. Each time a child is infected, only creates antibodies to a certain virus, the child can become ill again if infected with another virus of the Enterovirus group. Therefore, focusing on disease prevention in the community is the best measure to protect children and their families.
Wash hands frequently with soap under running water several times a day (both adults and children), especially before preparing food, before eating/feeding children, before holding children, after walking hygiene, after changing diapers and cleaning the baby.
Practice good food hygiene: eat well, drink well; eating utensils are washed before use; use clean water in daily activities; do not give food to children; Do not let children eat, suck, suck on toys, share napkins, handkerchiefs, eating utensils such as cups, bowls, plates, spoons, toys that have not been disinfected.
Regularly wipe down surfaces and tools that come into contact with everyday life such as toys, school supplies, doorknobs, stair handrails, table/chair tops, floors, and floors with soap or common detergents.
Family members do not allow children to come into contact with sick or suspected patients; Using a hygienic latrine, patient feces and waste must be collected and disposed of in a hygienic latrine.
The doctor further recommends that families who have children with hand, foot and mouth disease need to immediately notify the nearest school, kindergarten or health agency to have a plan to clean surfaces and tools that the child has ever come into contact with. , and at the same time monitor the health of children who have been in contact with sick children. This is also a necessary measure to prevent the disease from spreading to the community.
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