What To Do About School Sores In Children

What To Do About School Sores In Children

School sores (impetigo) are common in children. They are easily spread and need treatment. 

Thumbnail of Impetigo printoutKey points to remember about school sores in children

  • school sores is the common name for impetigo ('im-pa-ty-go')
  • school sores may start as a blister, and then develop a yellow crust
  • they are more common on your child's hands, legs or face
  • the sores get bigger each day or new sores can happen nearby - they spread easily
  • the sores can be itchy
  • school sores can spread easily to others

What should I do if my child has school sores?

Go to the doctor immediately if a school sore is near the eye.

  • go to the doctor
  • check and clean every day
  • gently wash the sores with warm water and a soft cloth - wash the sores until the crust comes off and wash away the pus and blood
  • check other children for school sores 
  • your child may get an antiseptic cream or antibiotic medicine from your doctor - your child may need both 
  • cover sores with a cloth or plaster to help stop the infection from spreading
  • keep your child's nails short and clean
  • wash your hands with soap and dry thoroughly before and after touching the skin or sores
  • make sure your child washes their hands with soap often, and dries them thoroughly

How do school sores spread?

  • they can easily spread to other parts of your child's body when they touch or scratch their sore
  • they can spread to other people by contact with your child or the things they've touched 

What should I do if the school sores get worse?

You need to go to the doctor if any of these things happen:

  • the sores do not begin to heal within 2 days
  • redness spreads around a sore
  • sores have pus in them 
  • more sores develop
  • your child is unwell with a fever or you are worried about their symptoms

Occasionally, school sores can lead to other skin infections such as boils or cellulitis.  

It is important to take the antibiotics every day until they are finished, even if the school sores seem to have cleared up earlier. The antibiotics need to keep killing the infection in the body after the skin has healed.

Should I keep my child home from kura or school when they have school sores?

Yes, until one day after the start of treatment. When they do go back, make sure all their sores are covered.

This page last reviewed 19 October 2020.
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