Internet Safety for Children: Doctor's Advice | St. Louis Children's Hospital
Keeping Kids Safe From MRSA
There has been a confirmed case of MRSA in our school, and my 7-year-old's immune system is not that strong - what can I do to protect him from this infection?
By Dr. Blair Hammond
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You are not alone with this concern! Many people are worried about MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). MRSA is a type of staph bacterium that must be treated with different antibiotics from those used to treat the more usual staph bacterium. MRSA that exists in the community, however, is different from MRSA that occurs in a hospital, and it can usually be treated with several antibiotics taken by mouth.
MRSA has actually been all around us for years. In fact, up to 40 percent of people carry some type of staph in their noses. There is no reason to treat your son in advance, though if he were to get a skin infection, it would be a good idea to alert his pediatrician about his exposure to MRSA. Treating him without knowing he is infected just increases the chance that the staph bacteria would become resistant to even more antibiotics!
Staph is the most common cause of skin infections, so therearesome easy hygiene steps you can take to help prevent the spread of infection. Advise your child not to share items such as washcloths, bedding, sports jerseys, helmets, and other equipment — all of which can transmit infection from a child who has a skin infection. Wash clothing and bedding and dry with high heat to help kill bacteria. Cover cuts and skin infections with Band-Aids to prevent the spread of bacteria. As always, careful hand washing is the best prevention against most infections, including MRSA.
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