Cellulitis is basically a bacterial infection affecting the skin and tissue that has the potential to be life-threatening if not treated. Young children face a higher risk for developing complications due to cellulitis, thus if a child has a wound or peeling skin that develops a warm sensation along with swelling and redness, a doctor must be consulted as soon as possible. In some cases, the toddler might be given oral antibiotics or even hospitalized so that intravenous antibiotics can be administered if needed.
No matter how many times you instruct young children not to scratch insect bites, most toddlers will hastily scratch bite sites that will cause breaks on the skin which increases the risk for cellulitis. An anti-itch cream will surely come in handy when the child is outside in order to reduce the urge to itch the site of the insect bite.
Cuts and scrapes
The lower legs are considered as the usual site where cellulitis develops. It cannot be denied that toddlers often end up with minor scrapes, cuts and bruises on their legs since their coordination and balance control are not yet fully developed. Even though quite common in the lower legs, cellulitis can still develop in any part of the body. In case the child sustained a wound, you have to cleanse it thoroughly using water and soap. The next step is to apply an ointment over the site and cover it. Make sure that you will monitor the area to ensure that it does not become infected. You can learn proper wound care measures if you will register in one of the first aid classes offered.
Chicken pox can increase the risk for cellulitis since the toddler might not be able to resist the urge to scratch and eventually break his/her skin with his/her fingernails. This will allow bacteria to enter the skin. Additionally, before the blisters develop scabs during the healing process, they break open thus exposing the open sores all over the body. The toddler should be vaccinated against chicken pox in order to minimize the risk for developing cellulitis.
Eczema is a chronic skin issue that is quite common among young children. A toddler who has eczema might have dry, itchy skin along with swelling and reddening. Since the skin has the tendency to crack, it will increase the risk for the entry of bacteria. This can be reduced by applying a moisturizer in order to effectively relieve the dryness. In case the child has eczema, a doctor should be consulted regarding the suitable moisturizer to use based on the skin type of the toddler.
Athlete’s foot can cause cracks and peeling of the skin which will allow the bacteria to enter the skin. In addition, the blisters that develop from athlete’s foot can break and expose the open sores which will surely increase the risk for the entry of bacteria. The ideal way to prevent the risk for the development of athlete’s foot is to keep his/her feet clean and properly dried. Just remember that the toddler should also wear shoes when using public showers and restrooms.
Always remember that cellulitis can develop quickly after sustaining an animal bite, thus it is essential to consult a doctor once a child is bitten. Even if the pet received all the latest vaccinations, bacteria are still present which will surely increase the risk for developing cellulitis.