Beware the Staph

You know when you are having a lively, happy conversation with a friend, and then someone butts in with bad news?

Well, amidst all these cheery posts, the bad news guy is going to be me today.

I feel an obligation to share a warning to all mothers out there of something that doctors are calling an epidemic.  What used to be contained only to hospitals, staphylococcus (staph) infections have now been known to have its inceptions in waters, gyms, schools, anywhere, really.

Staph is a common bacteria that we all have on our skin.  However, when there is too much of it and there is an entry way into our bodies, like cuts, it can cause an infection.  The MRSA strand is the most severe and if left untreated can become that flesh-eating infection we have all heard about with trepidation.  Interestingly, there are more reports of staph infections in the US than anywhere else.  One theory is because we have over-used antibiotics

In my mind I had a picture of staph as something black and gnarly.  So when I got what looked like a puffy pimple, I didn’t do anything about it.

I had 3 of them, and the red puffiness turned hard and grew larger.  Then puss leaked out from the top, and more of these sores appeared.  I had the MRSA strand, but luckily had it taken care of before it worsened.

You would think that after my experience with it, I would quickly recognize it when my daughter contracted it.  But I didn’t.  Hers appeared when she got a diaper rash, and even the small abrasions on her skin caused by the diaper rash was enough for the bacteria to enter.  (A moist, warm bottom was a great breeding ground, too, I am sure.)  For the first week I blamed the “owie” on her bum as part of the diaper rash, until it spread to her leg and I recognized it as staph.

My brother in law contracted the MRSA strand as well, and was hospitalized for it, as well as a good friend.  Both were in danger of losing a limb.  You may ask, did we all contract it from one another?  My brother in law and good friend live far away, and the doctor said that though it is likely my daughter contracted it from me, since it is so prevalent, it is hard to say.

So, besides Staph having the potential to be very dangerous, I am warning you because this seemingly harmless “owie”  almost always needs antibiotics to go away, it is highly contagious, and it is oh, so painful.

So, if you see a puffy pimple on your child, and the inflamed section turns red and spreads, especially if your child complains of pain, go to the doctor’s and stop staph in its path.

But don’t take my word for it — I have no DR. before my name.  Talk to your doctor for more information, or take the word of a virtual doctor.  Check out this website for more information:

Have a good day and stay healthy!

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About Heidi

My name is Heidi and I live on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. I have three young girls and a baby son, and a husband who makes me laugh. We love to turn up the music and dance in the livingroom, bend down and smell fresh grass, and play at the beach in the sunshine. I run a stand up paddle school, sharing good times with tourists on the island. I love teaching stand up paddling, and it proves a challenge to do a good job raising a family while running a business. Like my post? Please leave a comment.
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2 Responses to Beware the Staph

  1. Caitlin says:

    I have been battling for NINE years! I caught it when I worked at Disneyland and we had to wear costumes that were communal and washed all together and then redistributed. If that doesn’t sound like a staph disaster I don’t know what is! Thanks for telling others what to look for.

  2. kirstin Latu says:

    we should have a conversation about staph. I carry it. usually anyone who has had it never really gets rid of it. I get at least one boil every other year now. I got it in Tonga the very first time. Where it isn’t considered an epedemic and has been around for a very long time and everyone seems to get it at one point or another. they just call them boils and put heated leaves on them to make them go away. fun experience! But its not the type of staph that is deadly that can be contracted here in the USA. Just like so many other bacterias and virusis, many things we get that we are afraid of here….are very common in poorer countries. some of my samoan and fijian friends say they get the same thing in their countries too. Fun huh? And I know a lot of americans that served missions in those countries and and got staph at one point too. I hate it when i get a boil though. Ouch. so painful. but now I can usually catch it before it gets too bad and get on meds to make it subside…untill it decides to make an apearance again! can’t wait to get together for VT and talk about staph! 🙂
    Hope Elise is feeling better soon. no fun for a little one.

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