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How Do Staph Infections Differ in Children?

Story at-a-glance

  • Due to the active nature of children, there’s a chance they may develop a staph infection after spending time outdoors
  • It’s important to teach your child proper hygiene when going outside to help prevent staph infections from occurring

Due to the active nature of children, there’s a chance they may develop a staph infection after spending time outdoors. The following are some staph infections your child can develop, and signs you should look out for:

Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin infection that commonly occurs among infants and toddlers. It usually develops during a child’s first exposure to other children at the local daycare center or school, leading to impetigo’s nickname, “school sores.”

The disease normally begins as small red spots, which can quickly spread and develop blisters filled with clear fluid or pus. Should the blisters drain, yellowish scabs may form.1

To treat the spots, you will have to clean them first with an antibacterial solution, and then cover them with bandages or gauze pads, because the rashes are very contagious. Regularly change the bandages, and wash your child’s sheets with warm water to kill any bacteria to prevent the disease from reoccurring.

Boils

Boils are tender, red lumps on the skin that are filled with pus. Your child may develop one if they have a cut or crack on the skin, or a weakened immune system.

The disease can spread easily to others because your child may transfer the bacteria through direct skin contact. The actual pus is contagious as well, as it is filled with dead cells and bacteria that can easily infect others if it comes into contact with other people.2

Squeezing the boil is not a recommended treatment method as it can spread the bacteria, and is painful as well. Instead, wash the infected area with soap and apply an antibacterial solution until the boil subsides. If the boil opens and drains, clean the wound and apply a bandage.3

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

TSS is a condition normally associated with the prolonged use of tampons, but it may develop in children as well. This can happen when your child currently has an ongoing staph infection, such as a boil or skin abscess.4

As the bacteria begin to release toxins in the body, your child may experience symptoms such as a sudden onset of high fever, fainting, vomiting, diarrhea and muscle aches.

If you spot any of the mentioned symptoms, take your child to the doctor immediately, as it can be potentially fatal if not treated right away.

Learn How to Detect Food Poisoning in Children

It’s estimated that around 76 million people get food poisoning every year.5 If your child eats food that was prepared in unsanitary locations, there’s a chance they can get food poisoning. If your child displays any of the following signs, there’s a high chance that they have food poisoning:6

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Stomach pains

Fever

Headache

Muscle pain in limbs

If you notice any combination of the mentioned signs in your child, seek treatment right away. Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, which may require hospitalization. Fortunately, not every case of food poisoning requires a trip to the hospital, because the symptoms usually go away on their own after a couple of days. All your child needs are adequate rest and increased fluid intake to keep them hydrated, and to continue passing the stools to eject the bacteria from the digestive system.7

Teach Your Child Proper Hygiene to Prevent Staph Infections

It’s important to teach your child proper hygiene when going outside to help prevent staph infections from occurring. The most important habit you can teach them is regularly washing their hands, especially when they come home after playing outside or after touching a pet. If they wash their hands regularly, their chances of getting a staph infection will be greatly reduced.

MORE ABOUT STAPH INFECTION

Staph Infection: Introduction

What Is Staph Infection?

Staph Infection In Children

Is Staph Infection Contagious?

Staph Infection Duration

Staph Infection Causes

Staph Infection Types

Staph Infection Symptoms

Staph Infection Treatment

Staph Infection Prevention

Staph Infection Diet

Staph Infection FAQ

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Sources and References

  • 1, 3 Victoria State Government, “Impetigo — School Sores”
  • 2, 7 KidsHealth.org.nz, “Boils in Detail”
  • 4 NHS Choices, “Toxic Shock Syndrome — Introduction”
  • 5 WebMD, “Is It Really Food Poisoning?”
  • 6 Patient, “Food Poisoning in Children”
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