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Dear Parent or Guardian:
A child in our program has impetigo.
WHAT IS IT? Impetigo is a mild infection of the skin. It is caused by bacteria,
commonly “strep” and/or “staph”. Impetigo appears as reddish lesions that become
oozing and crusty. Lesions may also be itchy. Impetigo develops on injured skin that is
not kept clean and dry. It commonly occurs around the nose and mouth after a cold, in
the diaper area, on cuts and insect bites.
HOW IS IT SPREAD? Impetigo can spread to other areas on the person’s body and to
other people. It is spread by touching or scratching the lesions and then touching other
skin. It can also be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact between two people and sharing
contaminated clothes.
WHEN IS IT CONTAGIOUS? Impetigo is contagious as long as the sores are oozing
and moist. After exposure, it can take 4-10 days for another person to develop the
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED AND TREATED? Impetigo is diagnosed by the typical
symptoms. It is commonly treated with oral antibiotic medication and/or ointment, and
careful washing with soap and water. It typically heals within 1-3 weeks.
SHOULD THE CHILD STAY AT HOME? A child with impetigo should stay home
until 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment.
 Keep the lesions clean and dry. Avoid touching the lesions except to clean them.
 Wash hands-child’s and caregiver’s-after contact with the lesions.
 Do not share clothes, towels or bedding.
 Separate personal clothes (E.G. jackets) and bedding in individual cubbies for each
Taken from Health Young Children: A Manual for Programs.