While my kiddo and I were on vacay across the country, he developed hand foot mouth disease (while getting molars).

I had no idea. Because like so many things with kiddos, these germs showed themselves in the same ways a million other germs show themselves.

I’m not a doctor, not even close. You shouldn’t read this as medical advice or a way to diagnose your own kiddo. It’s merely one mom’s experience with it.



Knowing what I now know, Cade showed sores on his hands 2-3 days after he started showing other symptoms. I say “sores” but really they just looked like bug bites. And since we’d been playing in gardens and yards, that’s all I assumed they were. At one point I considered that maybe the cold sore on his mouth had spread its little cold sore germs to his hands since he was gnawing on them constantly due to getting molars. Either way, I had explanations for the couple spots that in my mind did not include hand foot mouth disease.


…I saw nothing on his cute little feet. For 3-4 days his little feet looked perfectly normal. Now when we went to the pediatrician she was able to identify a little sore. She clearly has better vision than me.

Post hand foot mouth though I have noticed his feet peeling. In fact I’ve noticed more with his feet since he recovered than when he was sick. The Google tells me this is normal and might last a couple weeks. But it will end and there’s no reason to freak out.


Well, this one should have been the giveaway. The second day of our vacation, Cade started to develop a little sore/rash on the side of his mouth. At first it looked like a rash of the teething/drool variety. But then it quickly started to look like a cold sore.Which is exactly what I assumed it was. A bummer but they happen. And I figured since he was getting molars, that couldn’t be helping it heal. So when it seemed to get worse, that was my logic.


I guess having any of the booty synonyms in the disease name didn’t jive with the discoverer. But that’s too bad really; maybe it would have clued me in. Cade developed what I thought was a really bad diaper rash. Again we were traveling so things were all out of sorts. I felt like I was changing his diaper frequently but maybe I dropped the ball while in airports and didn’t realize it. That’s what I assumed happened. So I slathered his tush with Desitin. Unfortunately Desitin does not help hand foot mouth (booty) disease and thus we saw no results. I spent the whole vacay slathering him up, changing his diaper compulsively and hoping he would heal.

For us, it was his preschool teachers who put two and two together when we returned. His pediatrician all but said he had textbook hand foot mouth.

As a rookie mom, I had no idea. By the time I found out, he was over the worst of it and really just needed a couple days at home while the sores healed. If you asked him, he probably just figured he got two days of staycation following his vacation. And fortunately, Cade’s bout with hand foot mouth was relatively mild. Here are pictures of other contributors’ kids when they were, sadly, more evidently sick.

 handfootmouth1  handfootmouth2   handfootmouth3

:: Has your kid had hand foot mouth? What clued you in? :: 


  1. A side note to pregnant moms. At 37 weeks pregnant, they realized the baby my daughter was carrying had stopped growing around 31-34 weeks. They induced, baby was born, and found that her placenta had hand, foot, and mouth virus! Evidently she had gotten the exposure when picking up her other daughter at daycare!


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