The gift that keeps on giving.
So, poor Arthur has been teething. If you follow me on, well, any social media site, you would have seen me lamenting about how he’s currently cutting 8 teeth all at once. My kids typically get their teeth late anyway but Arthur sped into getting his top & bottom 4 pretty quickly. That left him with 8 total. I’m honestly not sure how he’s been able to eat anything since he can only use his jaws of death to crush whatever food we’ve been giving him. In any case, at 18 months, he decided to make up for lost time, double up & cut all 4 eye teeth & all 4 first molars. Good times.
At this age, it’s very easy to chalk everything up to teething. Fussy? Teething. Diarrhea? Teething. Not sleeping? Certainly teething. So since I’m a 4th time mom I tend to take everything in stride when my kids seem to not be 100%. A couple of days ago Arthur had felt feverish. Since I’m a seasoned mother, I did my typical my face to your face to properly assess his temperature. He felt warm. I used the ear thermometer to back me up but it stated he was perfectly normal. I’m pretty sure it’s broken.
The next couple of days he seemed pretty miserable but again I chalked it up to teething until my husband asked me about the rash on the back of his knee. Uh, rash? And then the blisters on his tongue… um, blisters? A quick google search & a call to our pediatrician confirmed HFAM. Being the slightly crunchy enthusiast that I am, I was hot on the search for natural ways to treat hand foot and mouth.
So What Is Hand Foot and Mouth?
According to the CDC , Hand, foot, and mouth disease isa common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth (herpangina), and a skin rash.
And it’s not to be confused with hoof & mouth, also called foot & mouth which is some gnarly thing only animals get.
The Good & Bad News
According to the Mayo Clinic, “although your child is most contagious with hand-foot-and-mouth disease during the first week of the illness, the virus can remain in his or her body for weeks after the signs and symptoms are gone. That means your child still can infect others”.
Because it’s a virus it is highly contagious. But – because it’s a virus, there’s no need for medications. Which is great for me since I like to avoid giving the kids as much medicine as I can.
Also, it’s not known for affecting older kids, which cuts my household infection rate by half! Score!
What You Should Look Out For
According to our pediatrician, things to look out for include dehydration. Because the mouth blisters can be painful, sometimes kiddos may not want to drink as much liquids. Also, another fever cropping up, lasting about 3 days.
These were the main concerns from our doctor but if you have more insight into other things to look for, leave them in the comments!
Natural Ways to Treat Hand, Foot & Mouth
I gave Arthur a nice bath with Epsom salts & lavender oil. Epsom salts are known for lots of things but specifically for healing inflammation & flushing toxins. Lavender oil is known for wound healing & also for promoting relaxation. I was hoping it would help him sleep better but… that didn’t happen.
Redmond clay is a completely natural bentonite clay. It rids the body of toxins while also healing skin issues. I use bentonite clay for everything from facial masks to making a paste to cover insect bites. You can put some in a bath or you can make a paste to apply to skin. You can also shake the dry powder into your baby’s diaper to absorb moisture which is great because the bulk of Arthur’s rash is there. Poor guy. You can also mix the clay with other things to make this awesome diaper cream.
Bone Broths & Animal Fats
You can read my post about how to make healing bone broths here. Bone broth is good for about a billion things & a vital part of Arthur’s GAPS diet. Truth be told, I’ve been lax about making it recently but with the kids being back in school & the typical seasonal germs just waiting to hitch a ride home with them, I have a renewed sense of joy about making it. If you don’t think your kids will drink the broth on it’s own, try adding lots of grass fed butter. I’ve been known to just slice off a Tablespoon of butter for Arthur to eat when he’s having an eczema flare. I find it helps his skin heal quicker. If you still don’t think your kids will want the buttery goodness of the broth add it to soups. Soups are about the easiest way to ensure your family is building it’s defenses! You can simply add meat & veg to make a soup. You can just add veg. You can roast & blend anything & add your broth. You can even simmer vegetables in broth instead of a cooking oil. If beef broth isn’t you thing try chicken instead!
I found two other great websites where mamas wrote about natural ways to treat hand foot and mouth. They have some great suggestions so check them out.
Please keep in mind that I’m not a trained medical practitioner, just a mom who follows her instincts. Please consult your health care professional before beginning any treatments you are unfamiliar with. There are lots of wonderful options for soothing HFAM so my recommendations are based simply on what I already had on hand (no pun intended) at home. If you would like to add your suggestions for handling HFAM, please leave your ideas in the comments below!
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