Germ Patrol: Remedies for 8 Common Winter Illnesses

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Chances your child will catch it: 20 percent.

Symptoms: Painful, blister-like sores in the mouth and bumps on the palms, fingers, and soles of the feet, often accompanied by fever. Depending on the severity of the sores, your child may not want to eat, drink, or walk.

Contagious? Yes, especially while she has symptoms (which usually last for about a week).

Rx: Treat with pain relievers and give her ice pops, yogurt, and other cool, smooth foods. Avoid anything tart, salty, or spicy. And if she's at least 6 months old, try this "magic mouthwash" remedy for relieving sores, from Debra Goldenring, MD, a pediatrician in Livingston, New Jersey: Mix half a teaspoon each of a liquid antacid (like Mylanta) and Benadryl, then dab it on your child's gums, tongue, and the inside of her cheeks with a cotton swab.

You need to know: The coxsackievirus can remain in your child's stool for several weeks, so wash your hands thoroughly after a diaper change.

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