Impetigo, a common and typically mild skin infection in children, is highly contagious. It appears as red sores or blisters and can occur anywhere on the body. Because it’s caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria, you might wonder if it’s safe for your child to swim with this condition. Here’s what you need to know. In most cases, it’s advised to avoid activities like swimming until the impetigo is fully healed. Here’s why.

1. Spreading the Infection

Impetigo is highly contagious and can easily spread to other swimmers via shared water or pool toys. 

2. Worsening the Condition

Pool chemicals like chlorine might irritate the skin and can potentially worsen the symptoms or delay healing.

3. Water Can Remove the Protective Barrier

Some prescribed medicated creams or ointments form a protective barrier over the skin. Swimming might wash these off, interrupting the treatment.

4. Infection Risk

Exposure to communal changing rooms or showers in a pool setting could potentially pose an additional risk of spreading the bacteria.

Before your child resumes swimming, ensure the impetigo sores are fully healed or well covered with a waterproof dressing and not oozing, as advised by a healthcare professional. 

Remember, adhering to a treatment plan and maintaining hygiene is imperative for a quick recovery from impetigo. While it can be hard to press pause on your little one’s pool activities, remind them that it’s temporary, and they’ll be back making a splash in no time. As custodians of our children’s health, ensuring their activities are both fun and safe is paramount. Here’s to healthy skin and happier swims ahead!

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Anthony Emecheta

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