Prevent Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is very contagious.
You can help prevent catching or spreading hand, foot, and mouth disease by following simple steps.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Always wash your hands:
- After changing diapers
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
Help children wash their hands. Teach them how to wash their hands and make sure they wash them often.
Learn more about when and how to wash your hands.
Clean and disinfect
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared items, including toys and doorknobs.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
You can get infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease if you have the virus on your hands and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. To lessen your chance of getting sick, don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with sick people
Avoid touching someone who has hand, foot, and mouth disease, such as hugging or kissing them.
Stay home if you are sick with hand, foot, and mouth disease. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are not sure when you should return to work or when your child should return to school or day care.
There is no vaccine in the United States to protect against the viruses that cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. Researchers are working to develop vaccines to help prevent hand, foot, and mouth disease in the future.