As parents we constantly worry about the safety of our children. Whether playing on the playground, getting on the bus, or running on the soccer field it seems as though we have an emergency kit handy for everything. One hidden danger that has become a growing concern for parents is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a potentially life-threatening antibiotic resistant Staph infection. MRSA that is increasingly common in community settings, like gyms, locker rooms, childcare centers and schools.
Everly Macario, a mother of two with a doctorate in public health, lost her own young son Simon to MRSA in April 2004. After taking Simon to the emergency room with common cold and flu symptoms, and being released, Simon became lethargic with heavy breathing. They returned to the hospital where Simon was admitted to the ICU. Simon passed away the next day. During his time in the hospital, doctors were unsure of the source of his infection and it was not until months after his death that it was confirmed to be Community-Associated MRSA.
Everly is now committed to helping others understand what MRSA is and how to help prevent its spread, which is why she joined the STOP MRSA Now Coalition, a group of community members who have experienced MRSA first-hand and are standing together to educate others to help prevent the spread of MRSA.
STOPMRSANow.org offers information about MRSA and the STOP MRSA Now Playbook, which includes the following five-point plan, among other critical tips and information:
Scrub up - Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
Wipe it down - Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard surfaces. (1 tablespoon of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 quart of water)
Cover your cuts - Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
Keep to yourself - Do not share personal items, like towels or razors, that come into contact with bare skin.
Use a barrier - Keep a towel or clothing between skin and shared equipment.
With more than 90,000 Americans affected by MRSA every year, we at Mom Central feel it is important to spread the word to Moms and families about ways to protect themselves. We would love your help in spreading the MRSA prevention tips and the STOP MRSA Now website, www.stopmrsanow.org
I know as a parent it can be hard to convince our children that washing their hands is important. Darly's Girl Scout handbook had an experiment to show how you need to use soap & warm water to wash with. You put vegetable oil and cinnamon in the child's hand. Have them wash with cold water alone. The oil won't come off. Try warm water...some, but not that good. Cold water with soap...still there. Now warm water & soap...that finally takes it off. However, even that didn't convince Darly that she needed to wash her hands. What worked for us was at Darly's gymnastics gym. The waiting area is right next to the bathroom and the walls are thin enough that you can hear if someone doesn't wash their hands. I pointed out to Darly that a girl in the bathroom, she didn't wash her hands...she opened the door to the gym, and then she touched the equipment, the water fountain, the bench...etc. Darly was digusted and now washes her hands all the time!