Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a strain of bacteria that is highly resistant to most antibiotics. This is most commonly found on the skin or in the nose. The first MRSA infections to humans were reported more than 45 years ago. MRSA changed the way people viewed staph, because staph was once virtually harmless while MRSA is now potentially deadly. In recent years, the rate at which staph has become antibiotic resistant is alarming. Children suffering from MRSA have increased by more than half in the last 5 years alone, and the side effects are horrible. Knowing how to prevent MRSA in children and what symptoms of infection you should look for is essential, and early treatment is vital for children who become infected with mercer.
Mercer (MRSA) IN Children
MRSA in children is cause for great alarm. This is a staph infection, but the side effects can be long term or even deadly. MRSA is affecting people in the everyday world, and it is no longer limited to institutions. Community associated mercer infections are on the rise, and children are seemingly at great risk for developing this serious condition.
Many parents mistakenly believe MRSA is only associated with skin ailments, but the truth is MRSA is also associated with brain damage, pneumonia, meningitis, heart problems and amputations just to name some.
High Risk Locations for MRSA
The fact is that even the toy isle at your local department store, the park and Chuck E Cheese can be a risk factor for transmissions of MRSA. The risk of exposure cannot be eliminated. School, daycare and any other public place is breeding grounds for all types of germs and bacteria, even MRSA.
Since kids often come into more actual contact with one another and share objects more freely they are likely to come into contact with MRSA. Then there is the underlying factor of contamination through scrapes and bites they may have acquired.
Prevention of MRSA in Your Children
Again, while MRSA contamination is not avoidable, there are things that can be done to reduce the risk of mercer infection in children. If MRSA has you concerned it should! Still, you cannot stop all of the things that your child enjoys because of it. Instead know that there are things you can do to protect your children.
Hand washing is a big deal. Kids should be taught to wash continuously for 15 seconds with warm water and soap. This is not just after bathroom breaks, but it also applies to after paly and after petting animals.
Introduce your child to sanitizers early. If washing is just not a possibility then sanitizing wipes or gel is a lifesaver. Make sure they know that sharing towels and any personal items is not safe. This is simply not the same world we grew up in, and sharing clothing, brushes, and any items that can come into contact with the bare skin is off limits.
Be sure that you are doing your part as well. All cuts, scrapes and bites no matter how small should be covered with a dry and clean bandage. Make sure your child knows not to remove it, and to be aware if it falls off so that they can bring it to an adult’s attention. Any skin blemishes should be covered until they have healed totally.
If your child is using community items like sports equipment then make sure they know how to clean it appropriately. Throw antiseptic solution into their gym bag.
Maybe your child has an existing skin condition like eczema. If so, just use all of the prescribed moisturizers and creams as directed. Avoid sunburn even in healthy children, and protect against bug bites.
The 5 C’s of Mercer (MRSA)
The risk of MRSA transmission is very high when the 5 C’s are involved. These are as follows:
- Contact Skin to Skin
- Contamination of items
- Compromised skin
- Cleanliness (or lack thereof)
Symptoms of MRSA in Children
First and most importantly, if you suspect staph at all in your child seek medical attention immediately and ask specifically for a mercer infection test to be done. Look for things like painful, red and swollen pus filled bumps that are warm to the touch. They are similar to boils. This will most likely occur where wounds or openings in the skin were. If any of this is accompanied by a sick feeling and fever that is a red flag too. If any skin infection seems to be circulating in the home or among friends that is serious cause for alarm.
How to Treat Mercer in Children
Many times a physician will need to drain the area. This should never be attempted at home. Antibiotics may be prescribed in order to prevent further and potentially deadly infections.
Mae sure that bandages are kept clean and dry. Also practice hand washing and sanitizing regularly with your child and for yourself. Do not allow drainage to seep through bandages. Always wear gloves when dressing or cleaning the wound. Make sure that you take extra caution with the disposal process of the bandages, gloves etc. from the wound care procedure. Clean all of your surfaces with an EPA registered disinfectant. Discourage baths and allow your child to shower instead. Clean the tub thoroughly after the child has finished.
MRSA Preventive Steps
You may request an excuse for school and activities from your child’s doctor to prevent spreading MRSA to other children. Also be mindful of your child’s visits to parks and other children’s places while they are contagious. If your child’s doctor does allow him or her to continue school then be sure you have notified the school nurse and appropriate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of MRSA. Also, the infected site should be completely covered and kept clean.