‘Hand, foot and mouth’ dis­ease alert for chil­dren

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA GILL

PAR­ENTS are be­ing re­minded to look out for the symp­toms of hand, foot and mouth dis­eases af­ter a spate of cases.

The child­hood ill­ness is caused by a virus and is most com­mon in chil­dren un­der 10.

First signs of the dis­ease in­clude a high tem­per­a­ture, loss of ap­petite, a cough and a sore throat and mouth. A cou­ple of days later red spots ap­pear on the tongue and in­side of the mouth. These can quickly de­velop into painful ul­cers which can make eat­ing and drink­ing dif­fi­cult.

Soon af­ter, you may no­tice a rash on the skin – made up of small red raised spots and typ­i­cally de­vel­op­ing on the fin­gers and hands and the soles of the feet.

These may turn to blis- ters with a grey­ish cen­tre and can be­come itchy and un­com­fort­able.

Health bosses are urg­ing par­ents to look out for signs of the dis­ease af­ter a spate of re­cent cases in Hey­wood, Mid­dle­ton and Rochdale clin­ics.

And they’re re­mind­ing fam­i­lies how to pre­vent it from spread­ing.

Ja­nine Parry, a pae­di­atric nurse prac­ti­tioner based in Hey­wood, Mid­dle­ton and Rochdale, part of Pen­nine Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, said: “We’ve no­ticed an in­crease in the num­ber of chil­dren com­ing to our clin­ics with cases of hand, foot and mouth over the past cou­ple of weeks.

“The best ad­vice is to keep your child at home and hy­drated un­til they’re feel­ing bet­ter. Soft foods and parac­eta­mol can also help if your child has a sore mouth and throat.

“If the symp­toms don’t im­prove af­ter a week to 10 days you should seek ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal ad­vice.

“You should also seek ad­vice if your child shows signs of de­hy­dra­tion, has fits, a very high tem­per­a­ture, is unusu­ally tired or un­rous­able or if their skin be­comes painful, red, swollen or hot to touch.”

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be found at www. nhs.uk

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