A to Z: Tetanusenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgTetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a serious but preventable disease that affects the body's muscles and nerves.tetanus, lockjaw, Clostridium tetani, bacteria, bacterial, infection, neurotoxin, nerves, nervous system, spasm, muscle spasms, skin wound, puncture wound, wounded, wound, wounds, wound care, cuts, dep cuts, tetnus, tetnas, lock jaw, toxins, bacterium, infected, skin infections, infected wounds10/16/201304/11/201909/02/20194961af7b-3602-4029-be88-898894633ac8https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-tetanus.html/<p><em>May also be called: Lockjaw</em></p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/tetanus.html/">Tetanus</a>, also known as lockjaw, is a serious but preventable disease that affects the body's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bones-muscles-joints.html/">muscles</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/">nerves</a>. Most cases happen when a skin wound is contaminated by a type of bacteria (<em>Clostridium tetani</em>) often found in soil.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Once the bacteria are in the body, they produce a neurotoxin (a protein that acts as a poison to the nervous system) that causes muscle spasms. The toxin can travel throughout the body via the bloodstream and lymph system.</p> <p>As it circulates more widely, the toxin interferes with the normal activity of nerves throughout the body, leading to generalized muscle spasms. Spasms can be so forceful that they tear muscles or even cause spine fractures. Without treatment, tetanus can be fatal.</p> <p>Tetanus is not contagious &mdash; you can't catch it from someone who has it.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>The best way to prevent tetanus is to be <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vaccine.html/">immunized</a> against it. Also helpful is protecting feet against deep or dirty wounds (such as from stepping on a nail) by wearing thick-soled shoes or sandals instead of going barefoot, especially when outdoors.</p> <p>All wounds should be kept clean. Apply an over-the-counter antibacterial or antiseptic treatment to help prevent bacteria from growing, change the dressing once a day, and get a tetanus shot or booster if needed. Deep puncture wounds, especially on the bottom of a foot, must be seen by a doctor because these are more likely to become infected without proper treatment.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
Bites and ScratchesAnimal bites and scratches, even minor ones, can become infected and spread bacteria to other parts of the body, regardless of whether the animal is a family pet or a wild animal.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bites.html/4e8ac3d1-8055-40c3-8a28-6e240da58db1
Dealing With CutsFind out how to handle minor cuts at home - and when to get medical care for a more serious injury.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bleeding.html/dd98d89c-e30e-4b99-8178-bb65cc8e9c3d
ImmunizationsMissing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/immunizations.html/43c9c971-c202-4a84-af31-70a2a42c3a36
OsteomyelitisSometimes a bad cut that gets infected can lead to even worse things, like a bone infection called osteomyelitis. The easiest way to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/osteomyelitis.html/018fa95e-9847-44f8-8128-15ce46ab062b
RabiesRabies is a serious infection of the nervous system that is caused by a virus. Rabies is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/rabies.html/efa96dca-2962-4ba2-9b04-dd785646f81f
TetanusTetanus is a bacterial infection that grows in a contaminated wound. Because it can be serious, it's important to get immunized. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/tetanus.html/f5369583-ec3a-4542-a901-8e0ee2ce7f72
Wound Healing and CareHow well a wound heals depends on where it is on the body and what caused it – as well as how well someone cares for the wound at home. Find out what to do in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/wounds.html/8698279b-71fb-496e-a138-9564f07e71f2
Your Child's Immunizations: Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis Vaccine (DTaP)Find out when and why your child needs to get this vaccine.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dtap-vaccine.html/2290a99e-7072-4b47-bfae-cdfae9a3f8b5