Parent Tip Sheet on MRSA

Recently there have been some concerns about skin infections affecting some of our students. The purpose of this memo is to explain what this infection is, what you should be aware, and what to do if you suspect an infection. Also, how to care for a possible infection and what precautions you should take to avoid an infection.
 
What is being done to contain the infection, treat those infected, prevent future occurrences, and educate the public about MRSA which stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It's tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus -- or staph -- because it's immune to some commonly used antibiotics. The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you're infected. Most often, it causes mild infections on the skin, causing pimples or boils.

 

What parents should know:

  • People can become infected with MRSA by touching infected people, or contaminated objects and surfaces, such as clothing, towels, sports equipment, and other objects that can pass bacteria from one person’s skin to another’s.
  • Anyone can get MRSA.
  • MRSA can spread easily among people who spend time in close contact with each other, such as household members and participants in close-contact sports (for example, football and wrestling).
  • MRSA is NOT spread through the air.
  • Personal hygiene is very important in preventing and controlling the spread of MRSA infections.
  • The key measures that can be taken to prevent MRSA infections are to practice good hand washing and good wound care.

 What to do if you think your child has a MRSA skin infection:

  • Keep the skin sore covered at all times with a bandage or clothing.
  • Do not share clothing, towels, or personal care items.
  • Tell your school nurse immediately and seek medical care right away to prevent dangerous complications from developing.

 Remind children:

  • Do not share personal care items such as razors, bar soap, cosmetics, or towels.
  • Do not share clothing or uniforms that are not properly laundered.
  • Do not get tattoos and body piercings using unsterile equipment.
  • Do not engage in sexual activity or have close physical contact with MRSA-infected people.
  • Do not share athletic gear (pads or helmets) that is not cleaned regularly.