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Scabies in the Child Care Setting


Scabies is caused by a tiny mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, that burrows into the skin, causing a rash. The rash is usually found on the wrists, elbows, or between the fingers. In infants, the rash may appear on the head, neck, or body.

Scabies is spread by skin-to-skin contact. Because mites can survive only briefly if not on the human body, you can only get scabies from direct contact with another person or by sharing an infected person's clothes. Over-the- counter insecticide lotion treatments are available for killing the mites. Young children suspected of having scabies should see a physician, as should persons with extensive skin disease. If scabies is diagnosed in either a child or adult in your facility: Exclude the person until 24 hours after treatment has been completed. Notify any other adults or the parents of children who may have had direct contact with the infected person. Other providers and children and their families may have been infected and may need treatment. The rash may take 2 to 6 weeks to develop in persons who have not had scabies previously. If a person has had scabies previously, it will take only days for the rash to develop. To treat scabies,

--Bathe thoroughly.

--Apply the lotion from neck to toes for the designated length of time.

--Bathe again.

--Wash all clothes, bedding, and towels used by the infected person in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer.

--Monitor the infected person. A second treatment may be needed a week later.

Note: This information is not intended to take the place of your state's or locality's child care regulations and laws. In every case, the laws and regulations of the city, county, and state in which the child care facility is located must be carefully followed even if they differ from these recommendations.

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