(CNN) – You may have heard of “hand foot and mouth disease.” it can be miserable for the kids who get it, but it’s easily treatable.
The soles of toddler Hayes Branson’s feet are peeling. It’s a result of hand foot and mouth disease. A common virus that typically affects children under five years old.
Anne Branson Haye’s mom, says, “He started getting sores on his hands, sores on his feet, and he had them all in his mouth and all on his tongue. He didn’t have any around his mouth but they were all inside.”
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Chris Harbaugh says, “Its Coxsackieviruses, passed through saliva and of course little children always putting things in their mouths and putting it down and other kids putting it in their mouths That’s how it’s spread.”
Most contagious during the first week, it takes a few days for signs and symptoms of the virus to appear.
Symptoms include fever, along with a sore throat, painful sores on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks, a red rash or blisters – that don’t itch – on the hands, soles of the feet and sometimes in the torso area. The pain can cause irritability and a loss of appetite.
While there is no treatment, liquid acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with the pain.
Harbaugh says, “We have a little magic mouth wash we can give them, they can swallow or spit out depending on their age and cold fluids. Popsicles, dilute juice, whatever.”