A tiny mark on a young child’s foot has sparked a serious warning for all parents.
A mum observed a “red line” that extended from her child’s toe to ankle and – because she had seen a first-aid post on social media – recognised the sign as a potentially serious condition.
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Children’s safety organisation, Tiny Hearts Education, shared an image of the child’s foot on Instagram, calling the faint mark a “red flag” for a sign of lymphangitis – an inflammation in the lymphatic vessels.
Tiny Hearts, which regularly shares safety and first aid tips, said the mum had seen one of its posts about the condition and “knew to bring her little one in to the doctors”.
“She messaged us saying: ‘So many people told me it was fine, but as I had seen in your post, I knew something was off. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you’,” Tiny Hearts said.
Although the infection can be caused by a bacterial infection, it can also be the result of “viruses, fungal infections, and insect/spider bites”, Tiny Hearts explained.
“The red streak starts at the infected area and ‘tracks’ up towards the armpit or groin,” the post continued.
“It is a sign that the infection is getting worse and that you need to seek medical assessment and treatment, which is usually antibiotics.”
If the condition is treated promptly, it may be mild.
“But if left untreated, complications can occur and the condition can lead to something more serious such as sepsis (infection of the blood),” they wrote.
What can you do to help?
Tiny Hearts Education says parents can keep track of the spread by “drawing a border around it”.
“So you can easily identify if it is getting worse,” they wrote.
Another mother took to the post to also share how the organisation’s tip “potentially saved” her daughter’s life just weeks ago.
“She had a fairly unremarkable sore on the top of her foot that got inflamed over a period of 24 hours,” the mum wrote.
“We marked the area, then noticed the red streaks travelling up her leg towards her groin, which happened fairly quickly.
“I knew it wasn’t right.
“We took her to emergency and they diagnosed lymphangitis and cellulitis.
“She stayed in (hospital) for five days on IV antibiotics.”
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