MRSA: Do We Need to Worry?

When we send our kids off to school each day we worry they might get picked on or may catch a cold from a sneezing classmate, but there is something more serious than the Chickenpox that I've just started worrying's called MRSA.

Concerned mom cynsanches is also worrying about it; and people are discussing it in the Medical Questions group. Even star athletes like quarterback Peyton Manning seem to be contracting it. MRSA is a type of staph infection, caused by the Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria, that is resistant to what cures most staph infections: methicillin.


MRSA is often spread by what the CDC calls the "5 Cs": Crowding, frequent skin-to-skin Contact (sports), Compromised skin (cuts), Contaminated items and surfaces, and lack of Cleanlines.

The CDC has great information on how MRSA can affect kids in schools and ways to prevent your child from catching it.

  • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages. Wear rubber gloves if you are tending to your little one.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.

The signs of MRSA appear on the skin as a bump with the following symptoms:

  • Pain and swelling around an open wound.
  • Wound is warm to the touch.
  • Blistering, filled with pus.
  • Fever.

You can see photos of MRSA infections on this site. Warning: If you're squeamish, you may not want to click through.

If you think your child has MRSA, see a doctor.

Has MRSA become an issue in your child's school?

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