Parents: Watch Out For These 5 Contagious Infections

African American preschool children and teacher in schoolIt’s officially back to school season! That time of year we all look forward to where so many get caught up in purchasing school supplies, fresh new outfits, and getting little minds ready for a productive year. In all of the excitement, we often forget this is also the time of year when children come home with all types of germs! Are you prepared? Here are 5 contagious infections every parent should be aware of.

1. Ring worm – Sometimes, especially in children, the fungus can infect the scalp. On the scalp, the infection looks like a round flaky patch of skin. These lesions can appear on other parts of the body that can be treated with a topical antifungal, but the ones in the scalp are best treated with an oral medication. This is a highly contagious infection and can be transmitted by skin to skin contact as well as from shared combs, hats, brushes, etc.

2. Ear Infection – Ear infections often occur in children after a cold. Colds are usually due to viruses and antibiotics are not needed as they do not treat viruses. Fluid can build up in the middle part of the ear behind the eardrum. This fluid can become infected and press on the eardrum, causing it to bulge. Kids can pull at the ear, have a fever, become more fussy than usual, have a decreased appetite or have some vomiting or diarrhea.Your doctor may tell you to wait 1-2 days and if no improvement in symptoms, will give you medication to help decrease inflammation or an antibiotic if the doctor suspects a bacterial infection.