What is it?
Herpangina is a contagious virus common in 3-to-10-year-olds that causes sores and ulcers in the mouth.
What causes it?
Herpangina is caused by the Coxsackie virus (the same pesky virus responsible for hand, foot and mouth syndrome). It's very contagious, so beware if another child in your kid's class comes down with it.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most noticeable (and painful) symptoms are grayish-white ulcers on the child's tongue and on the roof of the mouth toward the back. Other signs include: painful swallowing; a fever of 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit; diarrhea; pink rash on the trunk. The symptoms last about seven days and the illness is highly contagious until the ulcers are gone.
What can I do to help?
First, visit the doctor to have the diagnosis of this childhood illness confirmed. Once you're sure it's herpangina, make sure to give your child lots of fluids, avoiding acidic juices that will make the painful mouth ulcers even more painful. If your child refuses to eat, opt for soft foods and liquids and even ice pops to prevent dehydration. You can also give your child acetaminophen to treat the fever and ease the pain of the mouth ulcers.report abuse