What is it?
- Impetigo is a common childhood skin infection that is usually caused by bacteria called group A streptococcal (strep) or Staphylococcus aureus (staph).
- Infection happens when the bacteria enters the skin through an open area (like a bug bite).
Sign and Symptoms?
- Impetigo usually appears around the mouth, nose or on skin that’s not covered by clothes.
- The rash can start as a cluster of red bumps or blisters. Eventually the blisters may ooze a honey-coloured crust. Many germs live under this crust.
- Sometimes the infection can become serious. If this happens, your child may have fever, pain, swelling, and may feel weak.
How is it spread?
- Direct contact: Impetigo can spread when someone touches the rash directly.
- Indirect contact: The germs can get on bed sheets, towels or clothing that have been in contact with someone’s skin. Then a person can pick up the germs from touching those objects.
- This disease can be spread as long as the sores continue to drain or until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has started.
How to decrease the spread?
- Handwashing is number one way to decrease the spread.
- Cover the areas that have the blisters/rash.
- Speak to your Health Care Provider for treatment.
Recommended Absence: An infected child may return to school or daycare 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has been started.
Impetigo is not reportable to Medical Officer of Health.
About Kids Health www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Caring for Kids www.caringforkids.cps.ca