Impetigo & Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
What is Impetigo?
Impetigo is a non-serious infection caused by streptococcus (strep) or staphylococcus (staph) bacteria. The skin normally has many types of bacteria on it, but intact skin is an effective barrier that keeps bacteria from entering and growing in the body. When there is a break in the skin, bacteria can enter the body and grow there, causing inflammation and infection.
Impetigo causes painless, fluid-filled blisters — usually on the trunk, arms and legs. The skin around the blister is usually red and itchy but not sore. The blisters, which break and scab over with a yellow-colored crust, may be large or small. Bullous Impetigo is a type type of Impetigo that primarily affects infants and children younger than 2 years and may last longer than sores from other types of Impetigo.
Children are highly contagious 3 days before any signs of infection occur and continue to be contagious 3-5 days after blisters appear. Once blisters are gone children are no longer contagious.
Children with Impetigo need to be treated by a doctor with either an antibiotic ointment or an oral antibiotic. Infected children must stay away from other children until the blisters & subsequent scabs are completely gone and it is no longer contagious.
What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?
It is a non-serious viral infection causing sores in the mouth and blisters on hands & feet. It usually appears in the Spring & Fall. It is often difficult to diagnose. It may appear to be chicken pox, insect bits, dermatitis etc. If you suspect your child shows the symptoms, be sure to have your doctor check for Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease.
It is similar to getting a rash or a cold. So there is absolutely nothing to be alarmed about. And just like a cold the infection lasts 3- 7 days and disappears on its own. One does not become immune to the infection and therefore can become infected again.
Children are highly contagious 3 days before any signs of infection occur and continue to be contagious 2-3 days after blisters appear. Once blisters & subsequent scabs are gone children are no longer contagious.
Children with Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease do NOT need any treatment other than to rest and let the virus run its coarse.
Prevention of Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
People infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease can spread it to others when they cough or sneeze. You can also get hand, foot, and mouth disease if you come into contact with an infected person’s blister fluid or feces (poop). Lower your risk of being infected by doing the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Disinfect dirty surfaces and soiled items
- Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with infected people
At Halsey School we always keep everything clean and sanitary and check all children on arrival and throughout the day and make sure all contagious children stay home.
Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease Stay At Home Policy
According to our Illness Policy if a child shows symptoms of either of these illnesses, he/she will need care at home away from other children until blisters & subsequent scabs are completely gone. It is up to your child’s teachers and directors to decide if a child is ready to come back. Please call the school before returning to assure your child will not be turned away when you come to school.
At Halsey Schools we make every effort to keep these and all other illnesses at bay by following our strict illness and prevention policies. You can review our policies here.
If your child will be out for any reason, please call or email us by 10:00 a.m.
818-992-1942 • [email protected]