What Every Parent Needs to Know: 5 Facts About Staph Infections

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Staphylococcus aureus is a very common type of bacteria. In fact, many people carry this bacteria on their skin without knowing it. In children, staph can be especially problematic when it enters the body. Here are five facts about staph infections in kids that every parent should know:

  1. One bacteria, many forms. Staph can cause toxic shock syndrome, osteomyelitis (a type of bone infection), cellulitis and certain types of food poisoning.
  2. How staph infections occur. When you get a cut, or scrape on your skin, staph bacteria can enter the wound and infect it. This exacerbates the severity of the wound and will require you to take steps to treat the infection.
  3. Treating staph skin infections. Remember to consult with your doctor on any infection that you are not familiar with. Usually, with a staph infection of a wound on the skin, you will want to wash the wound with water before applying an antibiotic. Once this is done, you should cover the wound with a fresh bandage.
  4. Preventing staph infections. To prevent staph infections, make sure your children wash their hands regularly. In addition, make sure you clean food before you cook it, and cook meat and vegetables until they are well-done and cooked all the way through. The less bacteria on your skin and food, the less likely it is to get into your body and create an infection.
  5. More serious staph infections. If you find that your child’s staph infection is not responding to simple treatment, or if you notice more serious symptoms like fever or the formation of red, painful skin around the area of an infected wound, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may give your child medication for the infection, or could even recommend hospitalization if the infection is particularly serious.

Consult with a doctor if your child shows symptoms of a staph infection or if you have any questions about staph.

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