Healthy skin is important as it covers and protects the body.  It is important to keep skin healthy or it can become infected.  If skin infections are not treated, they can lead to other serious health problems.  Your child may end up on hospital with a serious skin infection or blood poisoning which can hurt their lungs, kidneys, joints, muscles, bones and brain.

The resources on this website provide information about how to keep you and your families skin healthy and prevent skin infections.  Click on the links below for more information and resources.

Health professionals, community workers, teachers and other people children and families come into contact with are key in supporting children and families prevent and manage skin conditions.  To ensure appropriate resources are available, consistent messages are given and best practice is used to prevent and manage skin infections Lakes District Health Board undertook a project in 2015.  Three key documents have been developed/adopted for use.  These are:

  1. Health Literacy and the Prevention and Management of Skin Infections Resource

  2. Healthy Skin Protocols for the Management of Skin Infections in Children and Young People in the Lakes District Health Board region.

  3. Standing orders for the administration of medicines to treat skin conditions (these are available for organisations use to adapt to their workplace).

 Click on the boxes below to view skin information

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 What causes skin infections?

  • Infections are cased by bacteria (germs), viruses and insect poisons.

  • There are good and bad bacteria on our skin and in our environment.

  • Sometimes your child gets a skin infection, such as a boil, from bad bacteria which is on their skin or in the environment.  This small infection can heal or it might get more serious and grow bigger and spread onto your child's body and blood.

  • Sometimes your child might have a cute, scratch or insect bite.  This type of wound may heal if it is cleaned and covered.  If the wound gets infected with bad bacteria your child can get an infection like cellulitis (you say, sell-uly-tis) or impetigo (you say, im-pa-ty-go).

Take your child to a doctor or nurse if your child has a sore or wound that:  

  • Is bigger than the size of a 10 cent coin (about 1.5cm).

  • Is getting bigger.

  • Has pus.

  • Has red streaks coming from it.

  • Is not getting better after two days.

  • Is close to the eye.

  • Won't stop bleeding.

These things help your child’s skin stay healthy:

  • Eating healthy food like meat, fruit and vegetables.

  • Drinking plenty of water.

  • Getting plenty of sleep.

  • Washing and drying hands after using the toilet and before eating.

  • Keeping skin clean.

  • Washing clothes, towels and sheets regularly.

  • Keeping your child's nails short and clean.

  • Not scratching skin or sores.

  • Keeping skin cuts and sores clean and covered.

  • Treating pets for fleas.