Treating mouth ulcers in children

Mouth ulcers can be found in both children and adults. However, parents may panic if their child has the mouth sores, especially if the child is younger than 5 years old and has a fever, can’t eat and appears to have multiple ulcers in the mouth. They may even grow anxious and worried due to the reported outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), which can be fatal in some cases. Here is some information about mouth ulcers that parents should know.

If your child has 1-2 ulcers in the mouth, it is not a serious problem. Those ulcers may be caused by bumping or injuring the mouth with toothbrush or spoon or a bump on the outer lips due to a fall. However, you child may have difficulty eating or develop a fever. Minor ulcers usually go away naturally within 5-7 days. Doctor may prescribe an ointment to reduce the pain and irritation. Antibiotics may be needed if the ulcers get worse. If your child has a fever along with sore throat, trouble eating and the appearance of 3-4 ulcers, the trigger may be a virus. Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is also caused by viruses. It is contagious and can spread through direct contact with sputum, nasal mucus, saliva, feces and blister fluid of an infected person.

At present, there is no antibiotic that can directly kill the viruses. Treatment for mouth ulcers caused by viruses depends on the symptoms and their severity. Oral anesthetic can minimize the pain and enable the patient to eat some food. Meanwhile, fever can be managed with fever reducers. Bacterial infection is a possible complication of mouth ulcers which can be treated by antibiotics. Saline infusion may be given if your child can’t eat enough. Mouth ulcers are most painful in the first 3-4 days and go away in about 7 days. The same treatments are applied for patients with hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).

Sometimes rashes can develop on palms of the hand, soles of the feet, arms and legs. But there is nothing to worry about because they are painless and go away naturally. There are a very few people die from hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) due to inflammation of the brain and pulmonary edema caused by viruses. Since it is hard to tell if a patient will develop those complications and there is no specific treatment to kill the virus, prevention is your best bet. Avoid being near the sick person, separate the sick person from other people, and keep your child away from school for 7 days. Closure of the whole school is a recommended solution to stop disease transmission and reduce the risk of a sever outbreak.


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