Little Girl Got an Infection While Playing on the Beach
Mom Warns Other Parents After 6-Year-Old Gets Infected by Impetigo at the Beach
When you go on vacation, you plan to come back rested with sun-kissed skin. However, that wasn’t the story for one family who went to the beach this year. While playing in the water, a six-year-old girl got an infection and brought it home with her. Bella Sullivan went to the beach and played in the waves like kids do. She and her mother, Nicole, didn’t expect Bella to become a victim of increased bacteria levels found in the ocean.
Bella came home from the beach with what her mom thought was a case of poison ivy. Bella’s actual diagnosis came the next day when she wasn’t getting any better: impetigo, an infection commonly seen in children. Her face, neck, and arms were swollen, and Nicole describes her daughter as having experienced pain.
Bella contracted impetigo through a cut in her skin. The bacteria from the water was able to enter her body and cause an infection that left her eyes swollen. Impetigo is not dangerous, but Nicole still regrets that Bella had to suffer with the ailment.
How Do You Contract Impetigo?
Impetigo is a common, contagious skin infection caused by one of two bacteria: streptococcus or staph. Impetigo usually occurs in skin that is irritated by cuts, sores, or contact with allergens. This gives these bacteria a way to enter the skin and cause itchy blisters.
In Bella’s case, the bacteria in the water was the culprit. It’s also common for bacteria under the fingernails to enter a cut when you scratch it. Impetigo may also be contracted by coming into contact with the sheets or towels of an infected individual.
If you think you have impetigo, see a doctor. Sufferers will notice sores, itching, and may see skin looking crusty after blisters burst. Complications are rarely associated with impetigo, and it generally responds to antibiotic treatment and time.
How Can I Avoid Impetigo?
Impetigo is known for affecting children, but it’s not exclusively a child’s disease. Anyone can be affected. Kidshealth.org says there are a few things you can do to try to avoid this condition.
- Shower or bath on a regular basis.
- Always use soap to get clean.
- Don’t scratch bites or cuts. Cover these areas to avoid bacteria entering the body this way.
- Wash hands with soap at regular intervals all day.
- Don’t grow your nails out. Bacteria can hide underneath long nails, and short ones should be cleaned.
- Don’t swim in contaminated water with open sores or cuts.
Once impetigo is contracted, it is very contagious. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following steps for containing the infection:
- Wash rashes with soap and water. Cover them.
- Wash any clothes or linens the infected person came into contact with every day until the infection is gone.
- See a doctor and obtain an antibiotic ointment.
- Don’t let the infected individual be around others until they have been told they are no longer contagious.
Some say impetigo is not very painful while others say it very much is. Either way, it is an inconvenient, unsightly ailment that takes a while to heal. Impetigo sufferers must be careful not to infect others or to further infect their wounds. It’s much easier to avoid impetigo than to treat it if you got an infection.