School is one common place where children are most likely to acquire scabies. This is because kids spend most of their daytime in a school where they come into contact with other children who may be infected with this itchy skin condition.
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In school, your child may catch scabies from close interactions with some unknowingly infected kid, prolonged physical contact while playing, or keep coats in the same place. It can even spread either by touching the things used by an infected person like bed sheets, towels, soaps, toilet seats, etc. The symptoms of scabies don’t appear for weeks, so infected people may not be aware of this infection and this makes it very easy to spread.
How is scabies caused?
Scabies infestation is caused by itchy Sarcoptes scabiei mites, which burrow deep into the skin layers for hatching and laying eggs. Due to their constant burrowing, you feel extreme itching on your body. Most commonly scabies is found where skin folds such as in between toes, fingers, hands, elbows, groin, etc.
Parents whose kid has been diagnosed with scabies must let the school authorities aware of it as soon as possible. Your child must be given proper treatment before permitting him/her to return to school. Even parents and siblings of the infected child may catch scabies, so proper treatment must be given to the entire family as well.
When to see your doctor about scabies symptoms
You need to take your child to a doctor when:
- the itching doesn’t seem to go away for more than a week,
- you see the appearance of pus-filled sores in the area where it’s itching
Scabies spreads very easily, therefore, you must not allow your child to go to school until complete treatment is done. To treat scabies, your doctor will prescribe permethrin cream to your child and it needs to be applied to the entire body from the neck down.
How to apply the cream?
- After giving your child a good shower, pat dries their skin but don’t scrub.
- Apply cream gently all over the body, ensuring even all creases are covered.
- Keep the cream on the body for up to 8-12 hours. If your child washes the hands, reapply the cream on their hands again.
- After 8-12 hours rinse the body of your child and again apply the cream. Repeat this procedure for 7 days or as recommended by your doctor.
While undergoing the treatment, you need to wash all clothing used by the infected person. Wash towels, linens, and even soft toys that are in your child’s room to kill the mites. Vacuum bedding, carpets, and couches. Also, spray insecticide on other areas of a room till the time your treatment is completed.
Itching can take up to six weeks to go away, so don’t worry if your child is still feeling itching sensation even after the treatment. It is usually due to an allergic response caused by the dead remains of scabies mites. You can treat itching with calamine lotion or an antihistamine.
How to prevent scabies?
- Well, you cannot really prevent initial scabies infection, but can surely prevent it spreading it to your family members.
- You can prevent it from spreading by washing towels, clothes and soft toys of your child. Treat all family members at the same time even if only one person is infested.
- Keep your child away from school, child care, or kindergarten until the treatment is complete.