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Bacterial Infections FAQs

What ages do most children contract bacterial infections?

  • Bacterial infections are particularly extensive among very young children because they are exposed so often to and in such close contact with other young children. At the preschool age and even slightly older, children typically do not take the proper health precautions such as covering their mouth when sneezing or washing hands throughly, which encourages the spread of bacteria from child to child.

What are some common types of bacterial infections?

  • Impetigo
  • Strep throat
  • Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
  • Staph infection
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Ear Infections

What can I do to treat my child’s bacterial infection?

  • Bacterial infections can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics, which kill the bacteria that caused the infection. (Be sure your child finishes the full course of antibiotics to ensure a complete recovery from the infection and reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.)
  • Over-the-counter medications do not treat the infection; they are intended only to alleviate unpleasant symptoms and can be a good choice for relief until you are able to get a prescription from your doctor.
  • Over-the-counter cold medicines should never be used on children less than six years of age.

What can I do to prevent my child from contracting a bacterial infection?

  • Make sure to wash your hands and your child’s hands with soap and water before eating and after using the restroom.
  • Pack a travel-sized antibacterial hand sanitizer in your child’s book bag.
  • Clean open cuts or scrapes with soap and water.
  • Teach your child to always cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Keep your child home from school for one or two days, if possible to prevent the spread of illness.