Cellulitis In Children

cellulitis in children

Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and its underlying tissues caused by bacteria’s. This infection usually starts from a tiny cut, splinter, or scratch, which then further develop into serious infections.

Most often, the condition is caused by streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus, and sometimes by Haemophilus Influenza in children less than 3 years old. It occurs commonly in the arms, legs, or facial tissues of the children, but any part of the body can be affected by cellulitis.


Causes Of Infection

The most common cause of cellulitis infection in children is the occurrence of a tiny cut or scrape which causes the skin to break. Sports injuries, typical skinned knees in children, bug bites, chicken pox, and animal bites can all cause cellulitis in children, especially if the cut or scrape becomes infected.

The risk of getting cellulitis is increased in children suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, swelling of the legs or lymphedema, obesity, athlete’s foot, problems in the immune system, and poor circulation in the legs.


Symptoms Of Cellulitis

Children suffering from cellulitis often begin as small, inflamed area of pain, redness, swelling, and warmth. When redness starts spreading, the child may begin to feel sick, loses appetite, develop fever. Chills and sweats may sometimes accompany fever. Lymph node may become swollen and tender.


Prevention tips

The best way to prevent cellulitis is to attend all the cuts and scrapes as soon as they develop. Do not let children to scratch chicken pox, scabs, rashes and insect bites, as this increase the risk of infections. Helmets and appropriate padding should be used in children to reduce the chance of occurring cuts while playing.

Cuts or scrapes should be cleaned in running water with a mild soap and antiseptic solution, and a bandage is applied finally. If required, the help of a registered medical practitioner should be sought.


Treatment options

This type of infection should be treated immediately. If left untreated, the infection might spread to the bone, blood or nearby organs.

Cellulitis is best treated with antibiotics. Blood samples or fluids from infected site are withdrawn in some cases to find out the bacteria causing the infection. This will help out to find what antibiotic should be used.

Typical antibiotic treatment requires 10 days of oral therapy. In severe cases, antibiotics are given directly into the vein. Raising or elevating the extremity speeds up the healing process.

Pain killers are often prescribed to give relief from fever, pain and discomfort caused by cellulitis. Prescription of aspirin medication is avoided in children suffering from chicken pox.

Finally an X-ray might be taken to find out whether the infection has spread to the bone.



Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that commonly affects the skin and its deeper layers. They can occur anywhere in the body, arms, legs and also the face. The first line of treatment for cellulitis infection in children is the use of oral antibiotics, but in severe case, they are given directly into the vein.

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