Impetigo is a contagious disease that is most common in the late summer and autumn; from July until September. Impetigo spreads through direct contact between people or by indirect contact trough objects that have been in direct contact with a carrier of the disease. The spread of Impetigo is therefore particularly common amongst children playing. As Impetigo is highly contagious it can spread very quickly, for example in preschools and schools.
To reduce the risk of contagion it is important not to scratch the wounds and to wash your hands after being in contact with an affected person. In order to avoid spreading Impetigo indirectly do not use the same toys, textiles, etc.
Good hygiene is of central importance when dealing with impetigo infections as the disease can spread easily. Always be extra careful and wash your hands after being in contact with an infected area of the skin.
Impetigo in preschools and schools
Preschools and schools make an optimal environment for the Impetigo bacteria. Close contact between children allows the bacteria to spread from one individual to another and easily start an epidemic. It can be difficult to gain control over the infection when children share toys and, to a certain extent, textile items. To minimise the spread of bacteria the Swedish Medical Products Agency recommends using disposable items whenever possible. In preschools the spread of impetigo can be minimised by:
- – more time spent outdoors
- – smaller groups of children
- – good hygiene
Children should be kept at home and not attend preschool until the pustules have dried out, the crusts have fallen off and the wounds have healed. However, there are different regulations at different preschools. As a parent it is therefore important to be aware of what the instructions are at your preschool. Naturally, children that are to young to understand the importance of factors such as cleanliness should not attend preschool.
Schoolchildren have a tendency to attend school even if they have impetigo because they are able to understand how important it is to wash their hands often and not scratch the wounds. However, schoolchildren should avoid activities such as gymnastics, swimming and cooking classes.
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Site updated 2016-01-04