Kids are notorious for sharing illnesses while they’re out, playing on the playground. Whether it’s lice, the flu or the chicken pox, sometimes what your child brings home can be unpreventable. School sores in particular, are well known to spread amongst children so it’s important to know how to prevent and treat the condition.
What are school sores?
Impetigo, also known as “school sores”, is a contagious skin infection caused by bacteria. These bacteria are known as staphylococcus (also called “golden staph”) or streptococcus and usually live on the skin, without affecting the body. However, cuts or eczema allows these bacteria to infect the deeper skin tissues.
School sores appear as small, crusting blisters on the face or the arms and legs. These blisters are often itchy and start out bursting and weeping, before crusting over. It isn’t normally classified as a serious condition and should start clearing up after seeking medical attention.
The incubation period for school sores depends on the type of infection. For instance, it is usually one to three days for streptococcal infections and four to ten days for staphylococcal infections.
The common symptoms of school sores are:
- Itchy, red skin
- A group of blisters, usually around the mouth or nose
- Popped blisters that are weeping yellow, sticky fluids
- Infected areas having wet-looking crusts.
School sores can become more severe, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you notice symptoms including fevers, feeling unwell or swollen lymph glands.
Who is at risk?
It commonly affects children around the ages of two to six who are attending school or day care. However, it can also be spread amongst children and adults of any age.
People with healthy skin without any cuts or abrasions may also contract the disease. People are more vulnerable to school sores during the warmer months.
Our team suggests, before any treatment it’s important to seek medical attention for an official diagnosis and a plan on how to treat school sores.
Usually, if there’s only a small group of sores noticeable, washing with soap and water every eight to twelve hours is all that might be needed.
GPs might prescribe antibiotic ointment to help heal school sores as well.
Use a clean towel to pat the sores dry and apply a waterproof occlusive dressing that covers and seals the infected area. This will help to prevent any further spreading and your child from scratching the sores.
Wash all of your child’s bedding, pyjamas, towels and linen each day, while they are still infected by school sores.
How to prevent spreading
School sores are highly contagious and can be spread through clothes or by touch. These are the best way to stop the spreading of impetigo:
- Wash and dry hands thoroughly and frequently
- Keep infected children home from school
- Children’s nails should be cut short and they should be discouraged from scratching scabs or picking noses
- Keep infected areas covered and cleaned
- Throw out any used dressings.
How dangerous are school sores in infants?
Babies and newborns are especially vulnerable to infections, as their immune system is inexperienced and might not be able to fight off school sores effectively. Without immediate treatment, it could pose harm to the infant’s life.