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Cellulitis In Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects the skin and tissues beneath the skin. The infection can happen in any part of your child's body. The most common areas are the arms, legs, and face. Your child's healthcare provider may draw a circle around the edges of his or her cellulitis. If your child's cellulitis spreads, his or her healthcare provider will see it outside of the circle.


WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics are given to treat the bacterial infection.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines are given to decrease your child's pain and fever. They can be bought without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to give your child, and how often to give it.

Tests:

  • Blood tests may show if your child's infection is getting better or worse.
  • An x-ray, ultrasound, CT, or MRI may show if the infection has spread. Your child may be given contrast liquid to help the infection show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not let your child enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has any metal in or on his body.

Treatment:

  • Abscess drainage may be needed to help clean out the infection.
  • Debridement is a procedure used to cut away damaged, dead, or infected tissue to help the wounds heal.

RISKS:

If your child's cellulitis is severe, he or she may be hospitalized. Your child's skin may swell and separate from the tissue and bone beneath it. Your child may have severe swelling in his or her arms or legs. Your child's lymph system may become damaged and increase his or her risk for more cellulitis infections. Your child's skin and nearby tissues may die and start to peel. Your child's infection may spread to his or her bone, blood, kidneys, and heart. This can be life-threatening.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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