School sores, or impetigo, are highly contagious which means if there is an outbreak at your child’s school or day care, then you should be informed.
School sores are an infection of the skin that create inflamed blisters. Below is a brief explanation of what to expect if your child does contact school sores including symptoms, treatment and prevention tips.
School sores are caused by bacteria known as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria.
It can develop in perfectly healthy skin but it is known to more commonly develop into an infection on skin exposed to cuts, abrasions or eczema. School sores look like small crusting blisters and commonly form on the face or limbs.
If your child does develop blisters on his body, then it is time to head over to the doctor. If it is diagnosed as school sores then your child will need to be placed on antibiotics, creams or ointment and will need to be kept home from school and play dates. Impetigo has an incubation period of one to ten days depending on the strand.
Could Your Child Have Impetigo?
There are several different skin infections and rashes out there including measles, chicken pox and fifth disease. So how do you know if your child is developing school sores or something else? School sore symptoms include the following:
- Itchy and red skin
- Blisters around the nose and mouth that often develop a yellow sticky fluid
- A raised and wet looking crust around the blisters
- Fever and swollen lymph glands
- General feeling of un-wellness
Impetigo sores will scab over and go away after a few days.
However, your child will need a prescription for antibiotic ointment or cream to get rid of the bacterial infection. Even if the sores have healed, you will need to continue to apply the treatment until it the ointment is completely finished and for the required number of days. You should also see your doctor if the infection does not start to clear up after a few days and if your child starts to get worse or develops a high fever.
Caring for School Sores
School sores can be painful for little ones and thus you should always wash the sores with an antibacterial sores every 8 to 12 hours. Pat the sores dry and apply a waterproof occlusive dressing over the sores. This will not only help with healing but also reduce the risk of further spreading.
Because school sores are so contagious, you will need to do a good cleaning of your home as well as all the linen, towels and clothing that your child has been in contact with while he has school sores. Wash all linen and fabric in hot water to kill the bacteria. Ensure that your child is not sharing towels, hand towels or other items with other members of the family.
Help your child resist the urge to scratch the sores, which can make the blistering worse and can also spread the infection.
After all, when scratching, the bacteria can get under the fingernails and spread to other people and other parts of the body. Wearing bandages on the sores and applying the cream will keep the itchiness at a minimum. You can also check that he is washing is hands frequently throughout the day and cut your child’s fingernails short. All of these things can help prevent impetigo from spreading to you, to his friends and to other members of the family.