Frequently Asked Questions

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

What is this and how did my child get it?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by the coxsackie virus. Anyone can get Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, but it occurs most in children under the age of 5. It can be passed through dose contact with an infected person, or by touching contaminated objects or surfaces.

Possible Symptoms
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Painful sores in the mouth/throat
  • Rash/blisters occurring on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and possibly throughout the body

How is it Treated?
There is no treatment for the illness and no vaccine. The virus should go away on its own in 7-10 days.
You can ease your child’s symptoms with:
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen for fever or pain
  • Benadryl for itching
  • Anti-itch lotion such as calamine or hydrocortisone cream
  • Cold treats like popsicles or smoothies to soothe the throat
  • Use fragrance free soaps and lotions

Stop the spread of the disease

The best way to decrease the spread of the disease is to wash hands thoroughly. Your child should be fever AND symptom free before returning to school or daycare.

Summer Safety


Use sunscreen with BROADSPECTRUM on the label-that means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher

Sunscreen for babies

Babies younger than 6 months of age should be kept out of the sun. If you can't avoid the sun, you can use small amounts of sunscreen on you baby's exposed skin, like the hands and face.
For babies older than 6 months: Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If sunscreen irritates the skin, try a different brand. If a rash develops, talk with your child's doctor.

How to Use Sunscreen
For sunscreen to do its job, it must be used correctly. Be sure to:
  • Apply sunscreen whenever your kids will be in the sun. For best results, apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before kids go outside.
  • Apply sunscreen generously.
  • Use caution with spray, as there is risk for inhalation. Lotion, creams and sticks work best for children.
  • Reapply sunscreen often, about every 2 hours. Reapply after a child has been sweating or swimming.
  • Apply a water-resistant sunscreen if kids will be around water or swimming. Water reflects and intensifies the sun's rays, so kids need protection that lasts. Water-resistant sunscreens may last up to 80 minutes in the water, and some are also sweat-resistant. But regardless of the water-resistant label, be sure to reapply sunscreen when kids come out of the water.

Insect repellant
The CDC recommends a variety of effective products. Check the label for one of the following active ingredients:
  • DEET
  • IR 3525
  • Picaridin
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (not to be used on children under the age of 3 years)

Use a product with 30% or less of those ingredients on kids.

Insect bite treatment
  • Hydrocortisone 1% cream or calamine lotion for itching
  • Tea tree oil for itching
  • If insect bite becomes an open sore from itching, apply Neosporin to prevent infection.

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Gastroenteritis (Vomiting and Diarrhea)

Gastroenteritis is a common childhood illness that causes diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration. It is usually caused by a virus but can also be caused by a bacteria or a parasite. Most of the time diarrhea and vomiting last for just a few days. However, if symptoms do NOT go away or they get worse, your child may need to be treated in the hospital for fluid replacement and medication.

Symptoms to watch for
Call your child's doctor if your child is younger than 6 months and has any of the following:
  • Blood in the stool
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Urinates less often (wets fewer than 4 diapers per day)
  • No tears when crying
  • Loss of appetite for liquids
  • High fever (over 102 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme thirst

Care for your child at home

For mild to moderate diarrhea, continue to give your child a normal diet including formula or milk. Breastfeeding can continue. If your child is not able to tolerate cow's milk because of the diarrhea, then do not give cow's milk for 24 hours. Call your child's doctor if these symptoms continue.

Try giving pedialyte for fluid replacement. Give small amounts of pedialyte frequently (1 ounce every 30-45 minutes).
If your child is not vomiting then offer bland foods such as:
  • RiceBread or toast
  • Applesauce
  • Plain pasta (no sauce)

American Academy of Pediatrics : Patient Education 2011

Cradle Cap

What to look for:
  • Scales/flakes and redness on the scalp
  • Redness also seen in creases of the neck, armpits and behind the ears
  • These signs can be seen on the face and diaper area
  • Not itchy

  • Massage scalp with baby oil, olive oil or coconut oil
  • Comb flakes out with a baby brush or baby comb
  • Wash hair with baby shampoo every other day
  • Aquaphor ointment or vaseline to face (for dryness and irritation)
  • Hydrocortisone 1% to neck, ears, shoulders and back as needed for redness and irritation
  • A couple of drops of tea tree oil mixed with shampoo can be helpful to soothe irritation of cradle cap and dandruff


The following information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will help you check for, treat, and prevent the spread of head lice. (

What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny insects. They are about the size of a sesame seed (2-3 mm long). Their bodies are usually pale and gray, but color may vary.

Head lice feed on tiny amounts of blood from the scalp. They usually survive less than a day if not on a person's scalp. Lice lay and attach their eggs to hair close to the scalp.

The eggs and their shell casings are called nits. They are oval (about 0.8 x 0.3 mm) and usually yellow to white. Nits are attached with a sticky substance that holds them firmly in place. After the eggs hatch, the empty nits remain attached to the hair shaft.

Head lice live about 28 days. They can multiply quickly, laying up to 10 eggs a day. It only takes about 12 days for newly hatched eggs to reach adulthood. This cycle can repeat itself every 3 weeks if head lice are left untreated.

How are head lice spread?
Head lice are crawling insects. They cannot jump, hop or fly. The main way head lice spread is from close, prolonged head-to-head contact. There is a very small chance that head lice will spread because of sharing items such as combs, brushes and hats.

What are symptoms of head lice?

The most common symptom of head lice is itching. It may take up to 4 weeks after lice get on the scalp for the itching to begin. Most of the itching happens behind the ears or at the back of the neck

What else do I need to know about treating head lice?
Wash your child's clothes, towels, hats and bed linens in hot water and dry on high heat if they were used within 3 days before head lice were found and treated.

Items that cannot be washed may be dry-cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.

If your child has head lice, all household members and close contacts should also be checked and treated if necessary.

It is necessary to use a nit comb to remove all nits.


  • May give 1-2 oz. of water per day.
  • May give 1 oz. of water mixed with I oz. of prune or pear juice.
  • May use DARK Karo Syrup: 1 teaspoon once or twice per day. Mix into breast milk or formula bottle.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO HONEY for children under the age of 2 years.

Toddlers/older children:
  • Decrease milk and milk products. No more than 3 servings of milk (8 oz.), cheese or yogurt (4 oz. cup) per day.
  • Decrease amount of starchy foods: bananas, apples, potatoes, rice, pasta.
  • Increase water intake.
  • Increase amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables (good source of fiber).
  • Increase dried fruits: raisins, apricots.
  • Increase "high-fiber" foods: bran cereal, lentils, beans.
  • Miralax (over the counter or prescription medication): start with 1/4 capful (powder) every other day. Mix with 4 to 6 oz. of water or juice and give in a cup. If you don't see results, increase to every day.
  • Benefiber powder (over the counter): start out with one teaspoon daily. If you don't see results, increase to twice a day.

Common Cold

Signs and Symptoms of the Common Cold
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Mild headache
  • Mild body aches

How to Feel Better
For upper respiratory infections, such as sore throats, ear infections, sinus infections, colds and bronchitis, try the following:
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Encourage plenty of fluids and monitor how much your child is drinking and urinating (child should have at least half of normal wet diapers.) Use a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.

Treatment for Symptoms
Sore Throat
  • Soothe a sore throat with ice chips, sore throat spray or lozenges (do not give lozenges to children younger than 4 years of age.)
  • Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer

Ear Pain
  • Put a warm moist cloth over the ear that hurts.

Runny Nose
  • Use saline nasal spray to help relieve nasal congestion and gentle bulb syringe use as needed.

Sinus Pain/Pressure
  • Put a warm compress over the nose and forehead to help relieve sinus pressure.
  • Use saline nasal spray.

  • Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.
  • One teaspoon of honey as needed for cough for children one year of age and older.

  • Give Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or MotrinJAdvil (Ibuprofen) FOR AGES 6 MONTHS AND OLDER.

Call your doctor’s office if signs and symptoms worsen or do not improve.

Sensitive Skin

Body Wash Recommended:
  • (Unscented) FRAGRANCE FREE Aveeno Body Wash
  • Dove for sensitive skin (liquid, not bar soap)
  • Cetaphil (liquid or bar)
  • Dove Baby
  • Any body wash that is dye free, perfume free, for sensitive skin

Cream or Lotion Recommended: (Unscented) FRAGRANCE FREE
  • Cerave Lotion
  • Aveeno Lotion
  • Eucerin Cream
  • Cetaphil Cream
  • Nivea Cream
  • Lubriderm for Sensitive Skin (Lotion)
  • Aquaphor Ointment
  • Dove Baby
  • Any lotion or cream that is dye free, perfume free for sensitive skin
  • For Cracks in the skin: Vaseline or Aquaphor Ointment

Detergent Recommended
Any detergent that is dye free and perfume free.
  • All Free and Clear
  • Tide Free

  • Bathe child once per day for no more than 10 minutes.
  • Apply moisturizing cream/lotion to skin within a few minutes of getting out to the bath.

Steroid cream: Such as: Desonide, Kenalog (Triamcinolone) and Hydrocortisone

Many children with eczema need a steroid cream; this type of cream should be applied only to dry patches 2 times per day. Apply medication first, then cream/lotion

Daily Skin Care
  • Always keep skin moisturized with lotion or cream that is fragrance free.
  • Use Aquaphor for Dry Patches as needed.

Eczema Flare up
  • Keep ALL of skin moisturized

Bleach Bath Instructions

Dilute bleach (sodium hypochlorite) baths can improve eczema and prevent skin infection.
Use dilute bleach baths twice a week for everyone when there is skin infection in a household.

    • Choose the right bleach
      The bleach should be plain, without added fragranc.e or detergent.
      Budget Household Bleach Regular (2.2%) is recommended.
      Bleach gets weaker with time so you may need to get a fresh bottle.
      Make sure you store the bleach where children cannot reach it.

    • Fill your bath or tub with warm water
      A full-sized bath filled 10cm deep holds about So litres of water.
      A baby's bath holds around 15 litres of water.
      You can work out how much water is in your bath by filling it to a mark using a bucket or large bottle.

    • Add bleach and mix well
      Add 2 ml of :z.2 o/o Budget Bleach for every 1 litre of water (this will make a -0.005% solution). Other brands of bleach may be a different strength - check the bottle.
      A 10cm deep full-sized bath will need half a cup (150ml) of 2.2% Budget Bleach.

    • Soak in the bath for 10-15 minutes

    • Rinse off with tap water
      Pat skin dry with a towel. Do not share towels.
      Apply steroid and moisturiser creams.

    • Use dilute bleach baths 2 times a week
      See your doctor or nurse if skin is irritated by the bath, or if infection occurs.
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