Cellulitis is defined as a bacterial infection affecting the skin and adjacent tissues. It generally arises around areas where the skin is broken such as insect bites, wounds or scrapes yet can also form in other areas. In serious cases of cellulitis or those that are not properly treated, septicemia might develop. Luckily, the condition is not contagious.
What are the signs?
- Enlarged lymph glands
- Reddening around the site of infection
- Fever and chills
- Warmth of the affected area
- Drainage of pus or fluid from the wound
What should I do if a child has cellulitis?
In case a child is suspected with cellulitis, bring him/her to a doctor so that an assessment can be carried out as well as prevent any complications from developing.
Other measures that can be done include:
- Provide the child with medications as prescribed by the healthcare professional
- Make sure that the child will not touch the infected site
- Thoroughly wash hands before and after taking care of the infected area
- Avoid squeezing or puncturing the site
- Make sure the that affected limb is properly rested
- Apply a warm compress on the site.
A doctor should be consulted if there is increased redness, swelling or pain.
Is hospitalization necessary?
Even though cellulitis is easy to diagnose and typically managed with antibiotics, some cases necessitate hospitalization. The doctor might require blood tests to determine if blood poisoning is present.
In case the child is admitted to a healthcare facility, the treatment might include the following:
- Application of a warm compress on the area
- Administration of intravenous fluids and antibiotics
- Allowing the site of infection to rest or stay elevated