You expect your children to attend school to learn to write, read, and understand math. They may even learn how to use a keyboard and meet new friends. You don't expect them to pick up a contagious skin condition from school and bring it home, but it happens. Some skin rashes and diseases are highly contagious and are easily transferred from child to child in a crowded classroom, bathroom, or playground. Here are two skin conditions your kids may bring home, and how you can prevent them.
These tiny staple-sized worms spread via the fecal-oral route. The eggs enter the body directly from the anus to the mouth from a child's fingers or fingernails, or through contaminated clothes, bedding, or food. Once the eggs hatch, they gravitate toward the colon and rectum. When your child is asleep, the female worm leaves the anus and lays eggs around the rectum, causing itching. Your child may scratch, and have a hard time falling asleep or sleeping.
If your child's anal region is itchy, especially at night, they might have pinworms. After your child falls asleep, you may see tiny pinworms on their skin or surrounding sheets and pajamas. Your child's doctor can easily prescribe medication to take care of the problem. To cut back on the chances of reinfection, teach your child to wash their hands frequently and keep their fingernails clean and cut short.
Not actually a worm, ringworm is a fungal infection, usually on the scalp or feet. On the body, ringworm looks like a flat, ring-shaped lesion that slowly spreads outward. Ringworm is itchy and can be scaly, dry, crusted or moist. It is known as athlete's foot when the foot is infected. Ringworm is usually spread by contact with lesions of an infected person or animal. Sometimes it is spread from contact with infected skin scales on public areas such as pool decks, and shower and locker room floors. Even using an infected article like hats, pillows, and hair brushes can spread ringworm.
Ringworm is easily eradicated with a prescription topical cream or oral medication. Thoroughly wash all bedding and clothing in hot water to kill any fungi, and wash hands after touching lesions. To avoid getting ringworm, do not let your children borrow other people's personal items. If you have a pet, make sure they are checked and treated for ringworm before handling them, and wash your hands if you do touch them. Have your kids wear water shoes or shower shoes to public locker rooms or swimming pools.
Talk to your doctor if your child should stay home from school if you discover they are infected with pinworms or ringworm. For more information about contagious disease, make an appointment at a clinic such as Rural Health Services Consortium Inc.