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What You Should Know About...

Impetigo in the Child Care Setting

Impetigo is a skin infection usually caused by one of two types of bacteria, group A streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus. Impetigo appears as a blistery rash. When the blisters open, they produce a thick, golden-yellow discharge that dries, crusts, and adheres to the skin.

Impetigo is spread from person to person through direct contact with the discharge from the lesions. This infection can rapidly spread among persons in close contact, such as children in a child care facility.

If a child in your facility has impetigo:

  • Exclude the child from the center until 24 hours after treatment has begun and the child no longer has a discharge.
  • Infected areas should be washed with mild soap and running water.
  • Wash the infected child's clothes, linens, and towels at least once a day and never share them with other children.
  • Wear gloves while applying any antibiotic ointment that a physician may recommend, and wash your hands afterwards. (Antibiotics taken by mouth may also be prescribed.)
  • Make sure policies on cleaning and disinfecting toys are followed.