Children are most likely getting warts through family members or classmates, a new Dutch study suggests, contrary to the public hotspots like pools and showers where today's prevention efforts are over-emphasized by public health officials.

"Children often get warts from family members or classmates rather than from public spaces, [suggesting that] covering warts at home or at school could maybe be more helpful in preventing warts," Sjoerd Bruggink, lead author from the department of public health and primary care at Leiden University Medical Center, told HealthDay.

This new finding seeks to tell parents to cover their kids even at home and in classrooms.

Researchers detailed their findings in the April 22 edition of Pediatrics, where they enrolled 1,100 Dutch children ages 4 to 12 from three different schools in Leiden, Netherlands, and tracked warts for 18 months.

In addition to examining their hands and feet, the parents were given questionnaires that specified where their children spent time participating in sports and other activties, whether it was in a public location or at home with friends and family.

They found the students were at a greater risk of spreading these warts in homes and classes, more than the previous ways of contracting them in public facilities where health officials warn parents to cover them with bandages and shoes. In this study, 29 percent of children contracted new warts within the year.

"The study findings make sense since HPV is a contact-borne virus, and children have the most contact with their household members and school friends," Bruggink said. "It is a great reminder that if anyone has a wart [they should] cover it to prevent spreading the virus."

The investigators also say that the warts could be genetic, but contracting them through classmates are among the biggest factors.

The common warts found on children caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV, are located anywhere but commonly on the hands, whereas flat warts could appear on face and forehead, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Prescription medication, including podophyllin or salicylic acid, are recommended by health care providers. Other options include freezing through cryotherapy or burning through electrocautery, but it's not advised to remove the warts on your own. Warts could be prevented in public spaces such as communal showers by wearing flip-flops.