I’m a first aider – here’s what every parent must know about childhood illness

KIDS can easily pick up nasty bugs, and if your little one is in nursery it might feel like they are always coming down with something.

One expert has now urged parents to learn the signs of a common childhood illness.

Little ones with hand foot and mouth disease will have a variety of symptoms, such as blisters

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Little ones with hand foot and mouth disease will have a variety of symptoms, such as blistersCredit: Instagram/@cprkids

Hand foot and mouth (HFM) disease is common in kids and can also affect adults.

Most of the time it gets better in seven to 10 days, but symptoms are usually worse in babies and kids under five.

Casey, from parenting firm CPR Kids said over the past week, she has know many people to come down with the illness.

Taking to the organisation’s Instagram page, she said if HFM is something you are aware of, then you dread your child’s nursery sending out notifications of confirmed cases.

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She revealed the facts all parents much know.

The team, who are based in Australia, explained: “Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common viral illness in children and is usually mild.

“That being said, its appearance can still alarm parents and children, and it can cause quite a bit of discomfort.”

The first aid gurus explained that a high temperature and sore throat are two of the most common signs.

Alongside this, she said kids might experience small, blister-like lesions that may occur on the inside of the mouth, sides of the tongue, palms of the hands, fingers, soles of the feet and ‘nappy’ area.

Children are often irritable, tired, and may be off their food, she added.

Casey explained that HFM is spread through fluid from skin blisters, nose and throat discharge and droplets from coughing and sneezing.

She added that some children will have a fever before spots become visibile.

“The skin blisters of HFMD are infectious until they become crusty with no fluid.

“The virus may also be shed in the faeces for several weeks after.

“The best way to avoid the spread of HFMD is good personal hygiene including hand washing and avoiding sharing of personal utensils and items.”

KNOW THE SIGNS

To help relieve the discomfort of the illness, she said you should use paracetamol (not aspirin) as directed.

“Offer plenty of fluids, but avoid orange juice, which is acidic and may cause pain.

“Also, always allow blisters to dry naturally,” she added.

If your little one complains of a severe headache and if their fever persists, then you should consult your doctor as soon as you can.

She added: “Skin peeling and ‘nail shedding’ are sometimes reported in children recovering from HFM disease.

“These symptoms are usually painless and nothing to be concerned about, although it can be distressing to see.

“Eventually, the nails and skin return to normal.”

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The NHS says that if you or your child has HFM then a pharmacist can help.

They will be able to provide treatments such as mouth ulcer gels, sprays and mouthwashes that can relieve the pain.

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