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I read the super-bacteria MRSA can be spread through athletic equipment. How can I protect my kids?

I read the super-bacteria MRSA can be spread through athletic equipment. How can I protect my kids?

It’s true that there is a slight chance your child could contract methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) -- a type of bacteria that’s highly resistant to common antibiotics -- by touching contaminated surfaces like shared sports equipment (mats, gloves, etc.). But in reality, it’s much more likely to contract MRSA from direct exposure to another kid who’s infected.

In most cases, MRSA develops into a potentially dangerous skin infection of painful, small red bumps. If your child touches another child’s sores, the bacteria can transfer and grow on his skin. An active infection develops when MRSA enters the bloodstream through a cut or scrape in the skin.

To keep your child safe, teach him to wash his hands with soap and water throughout the day, and make sure he bathes regularly to remove any potential bacteria on his skin. Keep open wounds covered with a bandage to prevent any germs from causing an infection. And finally, if you notice that your child has a strange-looking red bump or rash that won’t go away, check in with your health care provider for an accurate diagnosis.

Are you worried about MRSA? Have you taken extra precautions to protect your family? Join the conversation.

Check out my blog next week to find out how to identify and treat common rashes.