What Disinfectant Kills Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

How to Disinfect Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFM) is a communicable disease prevalent in children. Consequently, if your child is affected by HFM, avoid close contact (kissing, hugging, sharing food/drink and utensils). Wipe down all surfaces that the infected child comes into contact with using disinfecting wipes or cleansers that contain greater than 60% alcohol. Be sure to regularly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains greater than 60% alcohol. However, water-less hand cleaners should be a last resort.

Proper disinfection is very important to keep the disease from spreading to other family members. 

Read, ‘Hand Washing vs Sanitizer’ for more information on preventing the transfer of communicable diseases.

The following areas should be thoroughly disinfected if you suspect HFM:

  • The area where diapers are changed, as HFM can be contracted by coming in contact with the fecal matter of an infected child
  • All utensils (fork, knife and spoon) the child has used
  • Any cups or bowls the child regularly uses
  • A highchair if the child uses one
  • A playpen if the child uses one
  • Any surface the child touches regularly
  • Toys the child plays with
  • Clothes and bedding should be washed daily and kept separate from other family members’ laundry
  • Cell phones or remote controls the child has used
  • If a child shares a room with a sibling, all furniture in the room should be disinfected, and the children need to sleep in separate areas until symptoms are gone and the disease is no longer active or contagious

If an older child or adult gets infected, everything they touch on a regular basis should be disinfected as well.

What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFM)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a contagious illness that is caused by a number of viruses and is prevalent in children age five (5) and under. Although it is most commonly found in young children, it is highly contagious and can affect adults. 

HFM is somewhat unique because there is neither a cure nor a vaccine to prevent it. Luckily, it rarely presents significant health hazards and usually clears up on its own after 7-10 days.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Symptoms

infographic about the symptoms of hand foot and mouth disease

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The symptoms of HFM include:

  • Fever, sore throat and runny nose, similar to a cold
  • Small blisters developing in the mouth on the gums, inner cheeks, sides of the tongue and the roof of the mouth
  • Blisters on the fingers, palms of hands, soles of feet and/or buttocks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability

The incubation period for these symptoms to appear is, on average, about a week. Someone infected with HFM may exhibit all or some of these symptoms. Learn more about remediation and why disinfection is so important to you and your loved one’s health.