What is Herpangina and how parents can prevent it?


What is Herpangina and how parents can prevent it?

As a parent, it is pleasurable to see your young babies run around the house, make sandcastles in the pit, and even draw on the floors and walls. These young “grown-ups” are habitual to tripping and earning loads of black-and-blue spots. Also, we all love watching our kids play around; seeing them in pain makes us sweat bullets.

You do not leave any un-checked corner of the house that might presumably cause injuries. But even after all these prevention measures, what if they still get unwell? Various microbes still exist around you, even after your top-quality and expensive cleaning and securing steps. One way by which these bacteria and viruses enter toddler bodies is through their mouths. Children are curious; they accidentally intake harmful substances in their daily life, and this could cause severe issues.

A healthy mouth is ground zero for a healthy body. Various problems are triggered if you cannot eat healthy and sufficient; and in young humans, this gets riskier. Hence, another rule of parenting- Take good care of the oral hygiene of your young ones. Let’s read about one such oral disease that is behind a lot of discomfort in kids.

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked question we receive from our patients about Herpangina:

Q1. A child has a high fever with mouth blisters and a sore throat. What could be the cause?

If the child is showing mentioned symptoms along with dehydration and tiredness, then s/he might be suffering from Herpangina viral infection.

Q2. Is Herpangina related to Herpes?

The names might have certain similarities, but, no, Herpangina and Herpes are two different viral infections.

Q3. What causes this infection?

Herpangina caused by the Coxsackie virus, which is a frequent cause of hand foot and mouth disease.

Q4. Is Herpangina common? Do toddlers catch it?

Yes, it is a very common infection in children aged 0-10. In some cases, they might even have it until 18 years of age.

Q5. Which weather is the Herpangina season? 

Dispersed by water and saliva, this viral infection mostly spreads in the summer season.

Q6. Is there any medicine available to cure Herpangina?

Though this is a common infection, there are no proven medical drugs that could cure Herpangina. The curing period is for 7-10 days.

Q7. How can high fever be controlled without causing any more trouble?

Medicines like Advil and Tylenol are highly prescribed for keeping a check on fever.

Q8. Can the spread of Herpangina be controlled?

Yes, fostering proper hand cleaning habits after touching anything dirty like mucus, diapers, etc.

Q9. Who should be consulted for getting proper advice on Herpangina? 

For young ones, it is majorly advisable to see a Pediatric Dentist before taking any measures.  

We have seen many Herpangina cases for the past 20 years practicing in Carlsbad, Ca and Oceanside, or San Diego County, please contact a pediatrician or our office for a complimentary consultation as soon as you noticed any changes in your child’s oral health at (760) 268 9819.

Now, let’s read about one such oral disease that is behind a lot of discomfort in kids:

What is Herpangina?

Herpangina is one of the most frequently found maladies in young children; caused by certain viruses. It can differentiate by spotting tiny ulcers that almost resemble blisters on the back of the throat and mouth roof. The infection caused by this can lead to slight fever, headache, pain in the neck area, and sore throat. Herpangina is common among kids aged 3 to 10, observed mostly in the summer and fall season.

Who is at risk for Herpangina?

Herpangina causing viruses can attack anyone, but its most common victims are three to ten-year-old kids. These types of infections have been recorded more in the children who visit schools, parks, and other outdoor public spaces. The provoking viruses are said to survive for many days outside the human body, hosting on daily touch objects like doorknobs, toys, faucets, and fittings. Cases of this infection getting out of hand are infrequent; it rarely gets precarious, but when it does, it mostly is seen in infants.

Is Herpangina contagious?

The enteroviruses that result in Herpangina are very communicable and easily transferred from one kid to the other. Odds of this infection emerging in adults are less as they have developed antibodies overtime to fight such viruses.  If the children are diagnosed to be infected, you should start taking precautionary measures. The contagiousness of Herpangina is usually through respiratory droplets i.e., coughing, sneezing, etc. or by touching fecal material.   

What causes Herpangina in a child?

The enteroviruses that cause this oral infection are:

  • Enterovirus 71
  • Echovirus
  • Coxsackie viruses A and B

Children in early pediatric age (0-10 years of age) are under the highest threat of coming into contact with such infections. Herpangina occurs because the sensitive and developing bodies of young ones have never been in contact with viruses; hence do not have prepared antibodies to safeguard them.

What are the symptoms of Herpangina in children?

The signs that point towards Herpangina differ from individual to individual. Although, most often reported symptom list is:

  • Difficulty in gulping
  • Neck pain
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • High fever
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Spewing
  • Dehydration
  • Sore throat
  • Drooling
  • Blisters or ulcers in the throat and mouth
  • Denial to eat leading to a loss in appetite

In the initial stage of infection spread, small ulcers form in the upper half of the mouth within two days. They have a red outline and light gray; the healing period for these is around seven days, also called the Incubation period.

How is Herpangina diagnosed in a child?

As the blisters caused by this infection are easy to differentiate, you won’t need to think twice before getting the kids checked by any professional. A formal diagnosis is necessary when the symptoms start to increase and cause severe discomfort. The physician can confirm the contagion by doing a physical examination. They would ask you about the indications and go through physical history.

Few other factors that you should keep into consideration before settling for Herpangina: 

  • Season of the year
  • The age group of the kid
  • Outdoor exposures
  • Incubation period

How is Herpangina treated in a child?

Always remember, taking antibiotics will not help in curing viral infections like this. And since there are no proven antiviral medications available in the pharmacies, all you can do is to provide relief from the uneasiness and keep a check on the indications. The main aim of herpangina treatment is to decrease and control the symptoms, particularly the pain. Adults suffering from this oral malady can go for pain relief drugs. But for children, this might end up creating more health problems; they are inappropriate for kids. You must double-check the medications you are serving to your young ones.

The treatment procedure also is based on age, symptoms, intensity of the illness, and essential health of the child. The process might involve:

  • Decreasing pain and fever
  • Adding cold fluids or foods to the diet
  • Consuming mild food substances
  • Gargling with cold water or Peroxyl

How can I help prevent Herpangina in my child?

Here comes the challenging part; keeping a hold of your child to brush twice a day and keep up the oral sanitation, now that’s difficult.  Gurgling with mouthwash after brushing might reduce your efforts to an extent, and reduce irksome sensations in the mouth. But make sure to confirm with the doctor that using mouthwash daily would be age-appropriate or not. Also, another easy way of preventing this infection is- washing hands. This measure is not just effective for this disease but many others too. Properly washing hands can help in controlling the transmission of the virus. Make sure that the children wash their hands correctly after using the washroom and before any meals. Wipe clean all everyday use objects like doors, remote, drawer and appliance handle, etc. Ensure that each member has their handkerchiefs to use while sneezing and coughing; if not, then wipe clean the palms. All these hacks are not just applicable to the progeny but also on the adult family members, meaning you. Mainly after changing diapers, ordure, and touching mucus make sure to clean up amply. Many Pediatric Dentistry specialists advise that victims should avoid entering public spaces from preventing the dispersion of the virus.

Key points about Herpangina in children:

  • Herpangina can define as an acute viral infection found among young kids.
  • General symptoms include small blister-like lumps in the mouth with fever.
  • Viruses that cause this infection are coxsackieviruses A and B.
  • Treatment involves liquid diet and medical drugs for fever and pain.
  • Proper hand-washing can hinder the dispersal.
  • While visiting the doctor, make sure to note all the necessary details mentioned by them — all the prescribed medications and tests; and any other special instructions for the kid.

Herpangina in babies

Detecting the symptoms leading the Herpangina in infants can be hard as few affected babies do not show any indications. Herpangina in young babies can increase the risk of other acute issues like brain inflammation or infection of either meninx, damage the tissues that protect defends the brain and vertebral column.  Few symptoms that are seen in babies are:

  • Ulcers in the mouth, tonsils, or the soft palate
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fever
  • Nausea or belly pain
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite

  If you live in Carlsbad, CA, or Oceanside and notice any of the above symptoms, please contact your child’s primary doctor or our pediatric dentists at Discovery Children's Dentistry & Orthodontics at (760) 268 9819 for consultation as soon as possible.

Herpangina in adults

Grown-ups can also catch a viral infection, Herpangina; even if the chances of them suffering are less than the kids in pediatric age. This is because the immune system of the adults is advanced and developed if compared to the young ones. Staying in closed spaces for a more extended period can also cause this disease; areas like unclean room, military camps, etc. increase the probability of adults having it. Women undergoing pregnancy have higher chances of capturing this viral infection, and complications during delivery time increase. They might face premature delivery and fewer birth weights, other similar situations.   

What are some home remedies for Herpangina?

Few of the parents out there might be wondering if the pharmaceutical drugs are the only option to protect their lads. The answer is No, various household remedies to ease down the indications of Herpangina exist.  Few of these folk remedies are listed below: 

  • A curative mouthwash made from salt and lukewarm water
  • Incorporate more liquid and fluids in the daily diet routine
  • Mild flavored and bland meals
  • Washing hands after every small chore, and persuading the kids to do the same


Preventive Dentistry is the process of taking good care of your oral hygiene and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It helps to prevent all kinds of oral-health related issues like cavities, dental caries, periodontal problems, mouth cancer, etc. The Pediatric dentistry branch is age-specific; it offers fundamental and extensive care for the oral sanitation of your children. These are centered on giving special attention to special oral-needs of every kid. Children dentists have years of experienced practice for taking good care of the mouth salubrity.  These pediatric dentists suggest many forms of children dentistry, like regular brushing and oral cleanings. All children should be taught to follow these and have proper oral care habits.   

Discovery Children's Dentistry & Orthodontics Pediatric Dentists are here to help.

You should keep an eye out for kids who might show such symptoms and get them checked as soon as possible. Taking a piece of professional advice would prove out to be great for the subjects. Therefore, if you need more information or are concerned about your child’s dental health, please contact us at Discovery Children's Dentistry & Orthodontics and make an appointment online or via phone at (760) 268 9819. If you live in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Ca or in San Diego County, you may also visit our office at:

Bressi Ranch Medical Plaza

6221 Metropolitan St., Suite 202

Carlsbad, CA 92009


Captain Floss Children Dentistry & Orthodontics has been serving Carlsbad, Oceanside, and San Diego for more than 20 years. Our mission is to make sure our patients receive the quality care they deserve and to feel comfortable and confident throughout their entire dental experience. Our goal is to teach children and parents how to prevent tooth decay.If that happens, we make sure when your treatment is complete, you will have the smile you’ve always dreamed of and the confidence to show it off!