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!

Is that a Zit?

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 clean better because what almost 11-year-old has zits?! 

I made him lie down so I could squeeze it… Have I told you I have a love for popping zits yet?

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. I realized we were going to have to come back to this….

Just another Monday

Monday 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 (It’s been an issue in the past, I promise… I don’t just accuse) and sent him to go get ready for football practice. Practice came and went, we ate dinner, SHOWERED and SCRUBBED, and went to bed.

Just Go to School… It’s just a Little Bruised

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’m telling you; worst mom in the world award). 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?”

10 minutes later I was off the phone frantically trying to find the doctor’s phone number… Why when you need something you can’t find it?

I got the machine at the Doctors… I literally start praying what to do… ER, Urgent Care, just go to the Doctor’s office and hope that we get in?

I decided we would go to Urgent Care if I had not heard from the Doctor within the next half hour. I ran and picked Chase up from school. 

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?…”

We drove to urgent care, we signed in, and the doctor called… “Come see me at 1:30”, that was in 2 hours…

Staph Infection

We left urgent care and went home for a bit.

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.

I was just praying desperately in my heart that we caught it soon enough to not end up in the hospital with it in his blood or joints yet…

We went to Dr.P’s office and he came right in. 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.

I still felt horrible not realizing this all sooner, but I came to realize that I did everything that I knew how to do… It probably would have been worse if I had not popped it with the infection just traveling all around his face; they would have had to lance it off at the doctor. I used my mom intuition the best I knew how and then let the professionals take over after that.

Am I really the Worst Mom in the World?

Do I still feel like the worst mom in the world?

Well… yes, I think we all would in this situation, wouldn’t we?

We spend our whole adult life trying to protect our children and keep them safe and something like this happens! But the thing we have to realize is that things like this happen and are beyond our control. If I wouldn’t have taken him to the doctor after talking to the nurse, then I could call myself the worst mom in the world, but I did take him in as soon as I knew there was a problem. I tried to fix the problem earlier by popping the zit as well.

We as moms need to stop being so hard on ourselves! This could have happened to anyone and they do happen to everyone! So, moms, you are not the worst, we all do it! We all have been there or all will be there one day. So Cheer up and stop saying you are the worst! Dust off your #1 Mom mug you got last Mother’s Day and sit back and relax!


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  • Brooke Bent

    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

    March 6, 2018 at 10:55 pm Reply
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  • Marissa

    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.

    September 30, 2017 at 5:19 pm Reply
  • Herlina Kwee

    You are not the worst mom in the world for not recognizing a Staph infection 🙂 Even doctors often misdiagnosis symptoms.

    September 28, 2017 at 6:58 am Reply
  • Lisa

    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.

    September 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm Reply
    • Michele

      That is so scary! I’m so glad your son was ok also!

      September 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm Reply
  • jenniferwise4heritagemakers

    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. 🙂

    September 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm Reply
  • Gill Simmons

    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.. 😉

    September 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm Reply
  • Shannon

    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.

    September 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm Reply
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