What you need to know about cellulitis in toddlers

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Cellulitis is a bacterial infection affecting the skin and tissues that can become life-threatening if not treated right away. It is important to note that young children most often develop complications from cellulitis, thus if a child has a wound or peeling skin that develops warmth along with swelling and redness, it is best to consult a doctor right away. In most cases, the toddler might be given oral antibiotics or even hospitalized to be given intravenous antibiotics if needed.

Cuts and scrapes

The lower legs are considered usual sites where cellulitis develops. Toddlers often sustain small-sized scrapes, cuts or bruises on their legs since they have not yet developed proper balance and coordination. Even though common in the lower legs, cellulitis can still develop in any part of the body.

If the child sustained a cut, it must be cleaned thoroughly using water and soap. Once cleaned, you have to apply an ointment and then cover the cut. The area should be closely monitored to ensure that it will not become infected. By enrolling in a first aid class, you can learn how to properly handle wounds.

Cellulitis can develop after the child sustained an animal bite, thus it is vital to bring the toddler to a doctor if he/she has been bitten by an animal.

Animal bites

Cellulitis can develop after the child sustained an animal bite, thus it is vital to bring the toddler to a doctor if he/she has been bitten by an animal. Even if the pet such as a cat or dog received the current vaccinations, there are still bacteria present that will increase the risk for developing the condition.

Insect bites

Even though a toddler is instructed not to scratch an area bitten by an insect, most will still scratch vigorously that will cause breaks on the skin that will increase the risk for developing cellulitis. It is best to apply an anti-itch cream to prevent scratching. You can easily find these creams available in drug stores in order to help reduce the urge of the child to scratch.

Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot can lead to the cracking and peeling of the skin, thus allowing the bacteria to enter. The formation of blisters can break and expose open sores which will surely increase the risk for infection. The best way to reduce the risk of the toddler to develop athlete’s foot is to keep the feet dry and clean at all times. Additionally, the toddler should wear shoes in public showers and restrooms.


Eczema is a chronic condition affecting the skin that is quite common among young children. A toddler suffering from eczema will have dry, itchy skin along with redness and swelling. Since the dry skin is likely to crack, it increases the risk for bacteria to enter. The ideal way to relieve the dryness is to apply a moisturizer. If the child has eczema, you have to consult a doctor regarding the appropriate moisturizer to use for his/her skin type.


It is important to note that chickenpox will increase the risk for cellulitis since a toddler with the condition has the urge to scratch, thus breaking the skin which will allow the bacteria to enter. Additionally, the blisters of chickenpox break open which usually expose the open sores before they form into scabs. With this in mind, the toddler should be vaccinated against chickenpox to help reduce the risk of developing cellulitis.

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