Hand Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention: Guarding You and Your Child’s Health
Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM) prevention is the key to guarding yourself and your children against this disease. Since this illness has no direct cure, then prevention is the best alternative so far. You must understand that this disease is a seasonal disease, occurring during the spring and fall season. During this time of year you must be extra vigilant, because the primary target of the virus are children who are 10 years old and younger. Older children and adults are also at risk, hence prevention must be available also. HFM is caused by a virus and a virus is self-limiting. It means that once the virus is already there, is will start to run its course. This kind of virus called Coxsakei virus A-16 and another virus, the uncommon enterovirus 71, are the agents of HFM. You must understand that the virus thrives in a certain kind of environment. By destroying the environment of the virus, you can prevent its growth and infection in humans.
There are certain things that you must recognize regarding Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM) disease prevention.
• There is no existing vaccine that can protect you or your children against the virus that bring hand foot and mouth disease. Knowing that no vaccine has been formulated yet will make you aware that you need to know everything there is about the disease. That kind of knowledge will be your first line of protection.
• A person can lower the risk of infection by doing some simple and basic hygienic procedures. Many often neglect some basic hygienic things but these can be helpful in preventing the disease or helpful in spreading the disease, in the event that someone has already been infected.
• The most important basic hygienic habit is to wash your hands often soap and water. This is very important especially if you are changing the diaper of an infected baby, or you are washing a child who just went into the toilet. The virus is easily transferred to your hand and it can be transmitted easily to those who are not yet infected. You have to wash often. If you touch things, wash after. Wash before you eat. After you touch an infected child, wash your hands. Washing your hands with soap and washing must be a habit. This will prevent you and your children being infected with the disease.
• The next agenda with regards to prevention has to do with disinfecting. You have to disinfect your home and everything in your home that you believe might be in contact or can be a carrier of the virus. The walls and floor have to be disinfected. Even the doors knobs must not be missed. Clothes must be disinfected after washing. Children’s clothes that have been used in playing outside have to be doubly disinfected, they can be carriers. Children’s toys and things that they continually touch have to be disinfected also. You can use a disinfectant spray that kills the virus or you can use a liquid form of the disinfectant. There are many available in the grocery, just look at the label and see to it that the disinfectant can kill viruses. After washing with soap and water, you can do the disinfecting. You can also mix your own disinfecting solution my mixing a solution of chlorine bleach. An ideal and potent mix is 1 tablespoon of bleach and 4 cups of water.
• Prevention has to do with avoiding many things. You must avoid close contact with a person or a child who is infected with the disease. Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM) prevention is done by avoiding hugging and kissing someone who is infected. Prevention also involves not sharing eating utensils, like spoons and forks, cups and glasses with those who have the illness. Physical contact and using contaminated utensils is a sure way to get the disease.
Prevention is always better than cure. Practicing prevention will save you all the trouble later. The problem that you come against with this kind of viral infection is that there is no direct cure. Medication only involves treating the symptoms of the disease not curing the disease. Antiobiotics are helpless against the virus. The common first line drug that doctors usually administer is actually helpless against it. Your alternatives are using medicine to treat fever like symptoms and mouth washes and sprays to relieve the mouth sore. In this scenario, it is advisable and wise to do Hand Foot and Mouth (HFM) disease prevention.