Friday, 18 January 2013


I’ve heard of HFMD (aka Hand-Foot-Mouth-Disease) for the longest time, and I’ve always pitied children who contracted it, especially friends’ kids. I’ve heard of the pain, and the torture they went through, but I was far from seeing it for myself.

Day 1
IZ started having fever on Sun late noon, after a playdate at our place on Sat. I gave him paracetamol and the fever subsided. Then it came again past midnight, fiercer. The fever was at one point 39.2degC and then hovered around 38.5dgeC although I gave ibuprofen and paracetamol, at duration of course.
Cheeky boy recovering from fever

Day 2
The fever just came and goes, and I thought he was recovering when the daylight came. But I let him skip school although parts of me are reluctant as he‘s just gotten used to Kinderland. I thought of letting him rest and recover properly since he didn’t really sleep well the night before.
I was sure glad of my decision later in the afternoon when I gave him his milk before naptime. He complained pain when he tried to suck his milk. I asked where the pain was, he pointed to his mouth. I searched for One Doctor clinic in Nex and gave them a call asking if they could take phone appointment while we make our way there. They say no phone appointment; we’ll have to go there physically. So Thank goodness of this clinic, which is so near and not crowded most of the times, we arrived in minutes.
While we were making our way there, I saw another missed call from a number seemed like Kinderland’s to me. I called back, and the receptionist passed the phone to Ms. Fizah (IZ’s class teacher). She told me she called earlier on to ask about his absence in class. So I told her about his fever. And then she informed me that there was a HFMD confirmed over the weekend. So she asked me to watch out for it.
I started to panic, although I was quite sure IZ did not get the disease. I last checked his hands and legs when I bathed him before his naptime, I shouldn’t have missed any symptoms right?
So it was our turn to see Dr. Jasper. This was the second time IZ saw him. IZ likes him. He is a young but very friendly doctor. IZ was very co-operative to show let him listen to his heartbeat, front and back (thank goodness for all the doctor-patient pretend play at home), and when he asked IZ to open his mouth, IZ obediently did so. Dr. Jasper confirmed right away that IZ contracted HFMD, and showed me the ulcers on his tongue and the red spots on his throat. Then he pointed to his fingers, there they were, SPOTS that I didn’t notice an hour earlier! And they appeared like MAGICAL SPOTS! We were told he can’t go to school for a week, and we’ll have to go back for review.
So I called the school again and told the receptionist of the confirmation. Then, I received a call from Ms. Fizah, and I told her the same thing. She told me we’ll have to get clearance letter from doctor when we are cleared and going back to school. But of course..
On the way home, I went to a medical hall to get herbs for drinking/bathing and many types of cooling tea. The next thing I know, IZ refused to drink coz he was in pain each time he tried. It was really difficult to make him drink, the moment he saw you are with a spoon or cup, he would scream and cry. My poor son..
It didn’t get any better, and I started to get real worried about his almost NIL liquid intake, and he wasn’t co-operative when we wanted to feed him medicine, although just a day ago, he happily opened his mouth to be fed paracetamol.
Managed to drink a little of milk using straw
Day 3
On Tue morning (I took childcare leave), before hubby left for work, he coaxed IZ to take some milk, and he took 240ml of milk spoon-fed. We were relieved.
I went to Nex to get more recommended stuffs. I’m willing to try EVERYTHING just so he can take SOMETHING.
I bought Pigeon medicated powder from Isetan, GAIA diaper rash powder from Guardian, Yakult and ice-cream from NTUC and also a floating balloon from the florist.
Everything was worth it when he saw the balloon. He was really happy seeing I brought the balloon home. And he took some ice cream, I was so relieved.
But he refused anything else after.
He still didn’t want anything till the end of the day, and hubby was working real late, thus, no one was able to coax him better.

Slight spots on his face, forced a smile for the camera

The start of all the rashes and blisters

Recommended Pigeon Medicated Powder: S$8.90 (before discount, there was a 20% discount for Pigeon that day)

Recommended GAIA nappy rash powder: S$14.75

Ice-cream and Yakult too

Floating ballon from XpressFlower

Wanted to be carried all the time

They got worse within hours, within the same day
Day 4
On Wed morning, I had to get back to work. Hubby tried feeding him some milk but he took only a little, claiming pain.
At work, my bro updated me that he brought him some purple Strepsils, and he managed to drink 2 bottles of milk thenafter. I was so glad of to hear that although I felt like a failure. My friends say it probably coz IZ was actually already recovering, not just because of the Strepsils.
The miracle
He managed the third bottle when I reached home from work, and he looked more energetic. He refused to take milk just before bedtime with my presence, so I had to hide while Ah Nah fed him and we went to bed.
Managed to nap for 1.5 hours and 4 hours on this day

Cheeky boy managed a great smile

Even posed.. :-)
Day 5
On Thu, his blisters looked so much better, they were drying up, except for some Mega ones. I guess Calamine lotion worked too. He was back to his usual self, except for the occasional scratching of his hands and legs. He took some porridge too.

And I think the ulcers in his mouth are no longer around, as he could take kumquat aka mini mandarin orange. Imagine citrus in full of ulcers mouth. He also asked for noodles we were eating.
I’m so glad he is recovering, I’m sure within days, and we’ll be able to be cleared of this irritating disease. But then, this is just one strain.. there may be 1001 types out there, who knows..

Drying up

Sign of drying, even the mega ones

This post shall be updated again, upon recovery.

BTW, drooling all the time, doesnt JUST means they're teething! :-/
Suggestions during this painful period (please take this notes at your own discretion):
1)      Strepsils Max!!! (depending on the age of your kid I guess, IZ is 25 mo, we’ve never tried giving him any candy before, but he sucked well.. ½ at a time)
2)      Feed ice-cream to numb the mouth before feeding anything (ice-cream was welcomed but not for feeding other food/liquid coz he refused)
3)      Yakult – well recommended by SIL’s friend (worked for while, before he felt the pain and refused any offer for Yakult thenafter)
4)      Rice water – boil rice with a lot of water and feed as water / put in milk for the nutrients (Ah Nah says they grow up drinking rice water and not milk as they had no money to buy milk (worked well on Day 3 onwards when he could take milk, he refused rice water by itself)
5)      Calamine lotion - I somehow thought of this when I saw him fast asleep at night with blisters on his hands and legs (I thought it worked wonder as the blisters started drying the next day – I only applied them at night after he’s asleep for fear he would scratch and put his fingers into his mouth)
6)      GAIA nappy rash powder – to be applied on blisters at butts (used it every diaper change)
7)      Pigeon medicated powder – to be applied on other spots (applied it whenever I saw IZ scratching, also after wipe-down)
8)      We didn’t really bathe him the first 3 days, but we did wipe him down with the herbal water we boiled followed by the powders above.
9)      Chrysanthemum + a type of herbs (my mistake for not taking photos of them) – supposedly for drinking and bathing, but he refused to drink any, so, they were all used up for wiping and bathing.
10)   Boil barley + green bean + brown sugar (he refused to take any – ended me taking all of them)
11)   Boil apple + plum (I didn’t try this)

End of One Week Quarantine
A week after recovery
Adult gets HFMD too
IZ Back to School


Anonymous said...

Please do not give your child Strepsils! Especially Strepsils Max! And to a young toddler :p The instructions state 6 years old and above, dear.

IZ Mum said...

Thank you for dropping the comment. Yes, I realised after as my bro gave him before I reached home. Thank goodness, now there's Strepsils for Children! :-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for yr post, IZ Mum. My girl, 33 mths old, got it yesterday for the 1st time. Yr notes will help me know what to expect in the next few days as the virus runs its course. Thanks again, Jessie

IZ Mum said...

You're most welcome Mommy Jessie. And thank you for dropping by. I do pray for your girl's speedy recovery. It's really not easy on them and on us, especially if you and family live in SG now, with the haze, it's not helping at all.

Mona said...

Hi IZ mum, thanks for sharing your experience. My 2 year old son is suffering from HFMD starting yesterday. Today was so bad, he didn't eat at all. Hopefully tomorrow his condition will be getting better. I would like to try the calamine lotion. Is it suggested not to bathe him? Thanks.

Mona said...

Hi IZ mum, thanks for sharing. My 2 year old son is suffering from HFMD now starting yesterday. Today was very bad because he didn't eat at all, he just took 1 oreo wafer stick. Hopefully tomorrow he will be getting better. I would like to try the calamine lotion. Is it suggested not to bathe the kid? Thanks.

IZ Mum said...

Hi Mona, I'm terribly sorry for the late reply as I am away on a business trip. I hope your son has recovered. I didn't hear any suggestion on not to bathe them when they are with HFMD, in fact, I bathed him with herbal I've got from the medical hall. I guess hygience is very important when they have blisters all over too.

Farah Abdul Rashid said...

Hey im wondering if it is okay to touch our face if we hfmd?

IZ Mum said...

Hi Farah,

While I personally do not think touching our face posed any issue, I would think avoiding is better. Our hands have germs as it is. Even for applying calamine lotion, I used cotton bud. :-)

Nora said...

Hi IZ Mum, its been long since the last reply. My daughter has just recently got HFMD. My question is did Ms Fizah (class teacher) of you son's kindergarten inform you on the causes of the outbreak for future prevention. My daughter's kindergarten denied any outbreak when I asked them about it persisting that my daughter got HFMD from somewhere else not the school.

Michelle Cervantes said...

Out of everything I have read I think this has helped me the most my daughter just turned 3 on April 27th an she just got diagnosed yesterday with hfmd Thank you for such good advice is nice to get info from someone who has been through all of this already

IZ Mum said...

Hi Nora, thank you for dropping by. I'm sorry your daughter caught the nasty HFMD. My son's teacher didn't inform us of the causes, but when my son confirmed at the clinic, there were already 2 cases in his class already, thus, it was quite obvious he got it from the school. However we were assured that things in the class would be sanitized and all. Schools are not supposed to hide any fact, I'm not sure if you know any other parents you could do cross-checks? Hope your gal has recovered since.

Hi Michelle, thanks for dropping by and your kind words. I wish your daughter a speedy recovery, take good care of yourself, adults can get it too! :-S

Darth Dizzel said...

I think your post on hfmd was a great step by step for people who don't know and are going thru it. I'm currently on day 5 and feeling much better than day 4. How long until the red spots on the hamds and feet go away so you look normal again? Thanks

Darth Dizzel said...

Hello. This was a great step by step of what someone will encounter when dealing with hfmd. I am currently on day 5 and my hands are felling so much better. How long do the marks stay on the hands and feet approximately? Thank you

IZ Mum said...

Good that you are recovering well. It took my son more than 2 weeks to really dry up.. another week for the marks to go away..

Siti Nurbahyah said...

Thank you for the extensive coverage. I am sharing this with a colleague whose daughter is suspected with it. We were just discussing abt suspecting teething since her daughter had fever n salivated but we cudnt piece the headache. She is now on the way back bracing the worst as she was informed of spots appearing on the tongue n throat.. :(

IZ Mum said...

Hi Siti, thank you for dropping by. The kiddos are strong creature in nature, they will brave through it.. and come back stronger than before. Do ask your colleague to watch hygiene while she's caring for her daughter. Adults can get it too, and usually much worse. Wish the daughter a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. Being a first time mum and my 20 month old girl just got it, i panicked on how to take care of her... It was just day 3 and indeed she is also refusing all kinds of food and drinks... Will head down to the supermarket for some ice cream and yakult for a start...

IZ Mum said...

Hello there, thanks for dropping by. Hopefully the "remedies" work for your girl. Wish your daughter a speedy recovery. Take care!

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