Should I keep my baby home from daycare?

Ask your daycare provider what the center's policy is on children attending when they have ringworm. Once your baby has started treatment, it should be no problem, but until then, they may or may not want you to keep him at home.

Are there possible complications?

Your baby could develop a bacterial infection from scratching his skin, so it's a good idea to keep his nails short and watch him closely. If you notice that he's scratching, you may want to put little mittens or socks on his hands while he sleeps. Talk with your child's doctor again if the rash doesn't look much better after about a week of treatment.

How should I treat ringworm?

For any unusual rash on your baby, start by talking with his doctor. For ringworm on the body, she'll probably suggest an over-the-counter antifungal cream. You'll need to apply it twice a day, covering an area about an inch beyond the rash. It usually takes about three to four weeks to get rid of ringworm, and you'll continue to use the cream for a week after the rash is gone. (Some children are sensitive to these creams, so try using just a little bit at first to see how your baby's skin reacts. Consult y...

How did my baby get ringworm?

Chances are your baby got ringworm. Probably from contact with an infected person or pet. The fungus can also be caught from infected towels, hairbrushes, combs, hats, and other clothing. If he's walking, he could also have picked it up on his feet from toddling around barefoot in an infected locker room or pool area. Experts think there's some genetic tendency for catching ringworm. And excess sweating seems to increase the chances, too, as it the condition thrives best in humid climates.

What are the ringworm symptoms?

If your baby has ringworm on his body, he'll have one or more scaly patches, probably between the size of a dime and a quarter. While the patches don't always start out round, by the time they're about half an inch across, they usually form a scaly ring around a smooth center. As the fungus grows, the ring gets larger, but it usually stops growing by the time it's about an inch in diameter. The rash can be dry or moist, and it can appear almost anywhere on the body. When the fungus affects the scalp, the ra...

What is ringworm ?

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection of the skin. It can be itchy and unpleasant, but it's not painful or dangerous. When the fungus affects the scalp, the condition is called tinea capitis, and when it affects the body it's tinea corporis. (By the way, athlete's foot is tinea pedis, and jock itch is tinea cruris — all are caused by fungi.) Ringworm shows up most commonly often in children over the age of 2age 2 and older , but it's possible for babies and adults to get it too.

How can I protect my baby from ticks?

If your baby is starting to walk and explore the great outdoors, try to keep him out of wooded areas, fields, or seashores where ticks reside. If you're taking him hiking or camping, stay on the paths with him rather than traipsing through the densely wooded areas. Dress your baby in long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and tuck the ends of his pants into his socks. Clothing that is made of slick material (like windbreakers) is harder for ticks to grab onto than knits. It will be easier to spot ticks if your...

Shouldn’t the doctor prescribe antibiotics immediately?

Probably not. Many parents are so worried about Lyme disease that they want their kids to take antibiotics just in case the tick was infected. But the chances of this are slim. What's more, experts aren't sure whether antibiotics will work against Lyme disease during the first few weeks after a bite, before symptoms arise. The overuse of antibiotics poses its own dangers. Germs can become resistant to the drugs, which has become an increasing problem. So most experts recommend a wait-and-see (but watch for ...

Should I worry about Lyme disease when tick bites?

Ticks can carry a variety of germs, including the microbes that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other diseases such as ehrlichiosis and tularemia. That's why it's important to remove the tick and clean the area as soon as you discover the problem. (Even if the tick is infected, removing it in the first 24 hours greatly reduces the chances that it will transmit Lyme disease.) After you remove a tick, keep an eye on your baby. If he seems ill or develops a rash or fever during the follow...

What should I do if I find a tick on my baby?

Don't panic. Ticks can transmit infection only after they've attached themselves to the skin and drawn blood into their bodies. Even then, they usually need to have been attached for a significant period of time (12 to 48 hours). If you see a tick crawling on your baby's clothing, or it's on his skin and is still small, there's really nothing to worry about. If the tick has attached itself, you should remove it as soon as possible. Forget any advice you've heard about applying petroleum jelly, fingernail po...

What can I do to protect my baby from anaphylactic shock?

The best prevention is to avoid any known allergens as well as the substances that commonly cause serious allergic reactions. If your baby is allergic to certain foods, it will take only a trace amount to trigger a reaction, so it's important to read labels carefully and ask at restaurants or friends' houses whether a meal contains any of the off-limit items. You'll need to be vigilant about this for your child until he can do it for himself. For more tips, check out the Food Allergy Network. If insect bite...

What should I do if my baby seems to be having a severe allergic reaction?

Call 911 immediately if your baby is having trouble breathing or passes out. Lay him down with his feet elevated to reduce the risk of shock. Try to keep him calm by talking to him and by remaining calm yourself. Don't give your baby an antihistamine if he's younger than 6 months. Even if he's older, don't give him an antihistamine if he's having any trouble breathing or swallowing, because he may choke on it. When the paramedics arrive, they'll probably treat your baby on the spot with an injection of epin...

What substances are most likely to cause a severe reaction?

There are many possible allergens, but these are the most common: • Peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews), shellfish (like shrimp and lobster), fish, milk, and eggs are the most common culprits, although any food can cause a severe allergic reaction. (A great deal of research is being done on whether delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods will delay the onset of allergies in allergy-prone children. If food allergies run in your family, your child may be more susceptible.) • Dru...

What is anaphylactic shock?

Anaphylactic shock (also called anaphylaxis) is a rapid and severe allergic reaction, and one of the scariest health emergencies a parent can face. It starts when the immune system mistakenly responds to a harmless substance as if it were a serious threat. This triggers the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause a number of symptoms — some of them life-threatening. The symptoms in a baby include:     * Swelling of the skin, lips, throat, tongue, or face     * Wheezing or severe breathing proble...

How can I prevent my baby from getting stung or bitten?

Most commercial insect repellents that are marketed as safe to use on babies and young children will do a fair job of keeping mosquitoes away. (Note that repellents are not recommended for use on babies younger than 2 months.) Also take these steps: •  Dress your baby in light-colored clothing that covers as much of his skin as possible when he's going to be outdoors. Avoid bright colors and flowery prints. •  Once your baby's walking, don't let him toddle around outside barefoot. •  Don't use scented soaps...

Can an insect bite or sting cause an infection?

A bite or sting can become infected within a few days, especially if your baby scratches it. If you notice swelling or a spreading area of redness around the bite, or if your baby has a fever, give his doctor a call. She may decide to put him on antibiotics. Be especially diligent about keeping your baby's nails short in the summer months, so he won't scratch away. If a tick bites your baby, watch for signs of Lyme disease — in particular, a circular rash or a ring around the bite. Take your baby to the doc...

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