How to Recognize Staph Infection in Your Child

It can be difficult to Recognize Staph infection. It’s hard to detect, but is definitely something to keep on your radar to look for when you have kids!

How to Recognize Staph Infection


I have come to the conclusion that I am the worst mom in the world. It all started last weekend when Chase deemed he had a Chigger bite on his face. I told him to not scratch it and we all moved on with our day. Sunday was busy going to church and getting a million things done.

By Sunday night I noticed my son’s chin from across the room, “Was that a big giant zit?”

I told him to come here so I could look at it…It certainly looked like a zit. I told him it was gross, it needed to be popped and that he really needed to wash his face better because what almost 11-year-old has zits?! 

I gave it a good squeeze and the most disgusting pus came out… The more I squeezed the more puss came out, and Chase kept screaming because he’s a tad sensitive. Since white / yellow puss just continued to come out I realized that we were going to have to come back to this. 

The next day he popped out of bed and headed to school like normal, but when he came home his zit was the size of a small tumor.

If you assumed that I popped it, you are correct, and can I just tell you that even I, the world’s best zit popper, was completely grossed out and almost lost my lunch!

I chastised him again for his poor hygiene and sent him to go get ready for football practice. Football practice came and went, we ate dinner, SHOWERED and SCRUBBED, and went to bed.

Recognizing Staph in Kids

The next morning it was back! and his face was a little swollen… I now felt terrible because I had squeezed too hard and bruised his face. I told him how sorry I was for making his face swollen and sent him to school.

Three hours later the phone rang, it was the school’s number…”Hello?”

This is when I was told, “I think your son has staph infection.”

I left immediately to go pick him up from school to take him to the doctor.

He came into the office with a smile on his face, and said, “Hi Mom!” Half his face was paralyzed. Holding back the tears so he wouldn’t know how scared I was I gave him a hug and said, “We are going to go to the Doctor, ok?…”

Staph Infection

I decided to tell Chase that the nurse was pretty sure he had a staph infection. We talked about how serious it was and that it could kill him if we did not treat it soon enough so we had to do everything the doctor wanted us to do, even if that meant going to the hospital or getting a shot in his butt.

When we arrived at the doctor he came right in and he confirmed that it was staph and ordered a huge shot in the butt full of antibiotics as well as topical and oral medication.

He promised everything would be ok, but inside I still felt like the worst mom in the world, how did I miss this?

After researching Staph Infection, I realized that it could develop in a sweat gland and turn into a boil that oozes pus…

Yep, remember that zit? Other than that, Chase had no other signs of staph until his face became paralyzed.

Signs of Staph Infection

Here are the signs of Staph you want to be aware of:

  • skin infection similar to a zit or a boil
  • If you have a bone infection the area with be warmer, red and swollen
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Paralyzed areas on your body.

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10 thoughts on “How to Recognize Staph Infection in Your Child”

  1. Hi Michele!

    I’m so thankful you shared your story even though it made you feel like a bad mom. We’ve all been there.

    I’m glad I know what to look for with staph now. It can be so hard to know when to go to the doctor. We all just have to use our mom gut that God gave us and pray for the best—just like you did.

    Thanks for the encouragement,

    Brooke Bent

  2. Glad you caught it in time! I have to say that staph infection wouldn’t have been the first thing I would have thought of either. You did what you thought best, which is a good mom thing to do.

  3. Oh my goodness! How scary! We had a similar-ish experience with my son. He had a “headache” that turned out to require surgery and a week long hospital stay due to an out of control infection in his sinus cavity. It almost required brain surgery due to the spread of the infection. We are very grateful to have made that trip to the ER when we did.

  4. I’ve been a mom for 20 years, and I’m telling you–mistakes like this are the easiest thing in the world. I have had to remember that over and over! How would I possibly know about something without having experience in it or without looking it up?? We are just feeling our way through this whole mom thing! You’re definitely not the worst mom in the world. 🙂

  5. Ok, this article could also be titled “How, As Mothers, We May Know-It-All but really… We Know NOTHING.” Ha ha. Seriously, you could consume yourself for days researching the MANY different crazy things that your kids could have, and still have your baby catch something you’ve never heard of. (My poor parents had to deal with me having allergies, warts, chicken pox twice, shingles, eczema, the list goes on…) You are totally not the worst mom! And definitely won’t be the last mom to think a zit is only a zit but really turns into a staph infection.. 😉

  6. I had an infection in my finger a couple weeks ago (we think from my toddler biting me) and it got super painful before it was clear it was an infection. Sometimes they’re really hard to tell what they are! However, as someone who did have chronic acne as a teenager because my skin is super-sensitive, I would recommend against scrubbing or popping zits. Doing that can leave some really nasty scars in the long run.


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