Courtesy of Cy-Fair Hospital
Your skin has about 1,500 bacteria on each square centimeter. Most of these one-celled organisms are harmless, and many are actually helpful. But one bacterium called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, can cause infections that are resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.
“MRSA is spread by contact, such as by children in a school setting,” says Anna Perez-Silva, M.D., a pediatrician on staff at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. “Some antibiotics still work to treat it. But because MRSA is constantly adapting, it is now resistant to methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, and oxacillin. That is why it is so important to prevent MRSA from spreading and causing infections.”
Dr. Perez-Silva recommends the following ways to protect yourself and your children from MRSA:
Wash your hands thoroughly several times a day. Use soap and warm water, and be sure to clean under your fingernails. Dry with a clean towel, or use the hot-air hand dryer in public restrooms. When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Treat minor scrapes and cuts by stopping the bleeding and then cleaning the wound. Apply an antibiotic next and cover with a sterile bandage. When a cut is deep, get stitches within a few hours to minimize the risk for infection.
Don’t share personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors, clothing, or uniforms that may have come in contact with an infected wound or bandage. Wash soiled items with water and laundry detergent, and use a dryer to dry clothes thoroughly.
Proper hand hygiene goes a long way when it comes to preventing the spread of germs. Teach your children good hand-washing techniques, including washing their hands with soap and clean water for 20 seconds, especially when hands are visibly soiled. If soap and clean water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizing product is recommended. For a free mini hand sanitizer to keep in your purse, gym bag, or car, call us at 877-763-9467 today. Supplies are limited; limit two per household.