MRSA and Staph Infections in Children
MRSA in Children: Prevention
You may have been scared by all the media attention given to MRSA. And you're right to pay attention. But also know that you can take steps to help keep your children safe. Here's what you can do:
- Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. This includes after playing with pets or other children.
- Have your children use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes when washing isn't possible.
- Teach your children not to share towels, uniforms, or other items that come into contact with bare skin.
- Keep cuts or broken skin clean and covered with dry bandages until healed.
- Encourage your children to clean shared sports equipment with antiseptic solution before each use. Or, he or she can use a towel as a barrier between skin and equipment.
- If your child has dry skin, eczema, or a skin condition, use creams and moisturizers as directed by the doctor. Try to keep areas of flare-up on the skin covered to prevent an entryway for bacteria, as the natural skin barrier may be compromised.
- Protect against sunburn and bug bites.
Of course, if a friend or someone in your family becomes infected with MRSA, these prevention steps are even more important.
Remember: although MRSA can show up anywhere, it is more likely when these "Five Cs" are present:
- Contact between skin
- Compromised skin (cuts or scrapes)
- Contaminated items
- Cleanliness lacking
MRSA in Children: Symptoms
If you suspect your child has a MRSA infection, seek medical attention right away.
Call the doctor if:
- Your child or other family member has a red, painful, swollen, warm, pus-filled, or red-streaked area of skin, with or without draining; these skin infections may look like boils. They often show up in areas where there has been a cut or scrape.
- Your child or other family member also has a fever or feels sick
- Skin infections are passing between family members or friends
MRSA in Children: Treatment
Treatment for MRSA may include:
- Draining any skin abscesses
- Prescribing antibiotics to prevent widespread infection