The ringworm fungal infections are common, especially in children, and the infection is extremely contagious. The infection can be transmitted though direct contact with an infected person or pet or through indirect contact with contaminated soil or water. It is important to know the possible causes of the ringworm infection, so that it can be prevented.
1. Don’t Share Personal Items
Personal items such as towels, brushes or even items of clothing can transmit the ringworm infection. Don’t share your personal items and make sure your children do the same. This rule may also prevent other bacterial or fungal infections, so it is a good one to keep in mind.
2. Teach Your Children about the Ringworm Infection
The ringworm infection spreads very quickly in schools. Even if the name suggests it is a parasitic infection, the ringworm is a fungal infection that causes round shaped bald patches. The ringworm infection will manifest through itchiness and hair loss. Teach your children to recognize these symptoms, show them pictures (easily found on the Internet), and instruct them not to have direct contact with children that have such symptoms and not to share any items with them.
3. Carefully Handle Pets
Pets may be affected by the ringworm infection and this can be transmitted through direct contact with the pet’s skin. If you have pets, watch out for symptoms such as itchiness, rashes and most importantly the signature symptom: the hair loss in a ring shape. If your pets are infected with the ringworm, isolate them and give your children gloves when handling the pets. The infection can easily be transmitted while the kids play with the pet.
The feces of the pet may also carry the fungal infection, so be careful when dumping the feces and always use rubber gloves. The feces should be picked up and deposited in the trash or flushed down the toilet, otherwise these can end up infesting the soil and water. Infested soil and water may also carry the infection.
4. Filter Water
Water may be infested with the ringworm fungi, but will be typically filtered before reaching your home. However, for your peace of mind and in order to keep your family safe, you need to filter the water. Get a water filter that reduces bacteria and fungi. Alternatively, you can get bottled water.
5. Wash Your Hands Frequently
The ringworm infection can be contracted through contact with soil or sand, especially if infected pets have been defecating in the area. The fungi can thrive in moist environments such as soil, so wear protective gloves when gardening and wash your hands after touching soil or sand.
The ringworm infection is difficult to prevent, as the symptoms in pets or people are not present during the incubation period. However, following some general hygiene rules, and teaching your children to wash their hands and handle pets appropriately can save you from a lot of trouble.