Ringworm is a common condition, which can occur in babies and toddlers1. It is a significant contributor to rates of illness as it is fairly easy to contract, however there are a number of precautions that you can take to minimize the risk of infection. You’ll be pleased to know that ringworm doesn’t involve any actual worms! It gets its name from its circular appearance on the skin. It’s caused by a fungal infection of the skin, and it is often transmitted from direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or animal.
An outbreak of a fungal condition in a childcare or day care center means that babies and toddlers could potentially be exposed to a higher risk of contracting ringworm. In communal environments it can be difficult to keep areas sanitised and therefore an infection like ringworm can easily spread between infants.
Babies and toddlers should avoid contact with any animal or pet that may have ringworm. Most kids love to cuddle and pet animals, however this can be an easy way for fungal infections to spread from animals to humans. If you have pets of your own, ensure that they are free from ringworm to keep your family protected.
Ringworm and other fungal conditions are common amongst adults, and some babies and toddlers can even be exposed to ringworm from their parents. Some quick tips to promote fungus-free skin are: let skin breathe to avoid creating an environment that fungi thrive in, wash skin daily with a soap-free cleanser and avoid sharing personal items such as towels.
If you need further assistance for yourself or for a child, we suggest that you speak to your healthcare professional.
1. The Mayo Clinic.Overview [Internet].2016 [updated 2016 Nov 5; cited 2018 Feb 16]
Available from: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ringworm/home/ovc-20261678
2. Management of tinea corporis, tinea cruris, and tinea pedis: A comprehensive review. [Internet] 2016 [cited 2018 Jan 10]
Available from: http://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2016/7/2/77/178099