September 4, 2019
Dear Parent or Guardian:
I am writing this to inform you that there have been confirmed cases of scabies in our District. Please know that we are working with those students who have this diagnosis, and are confident that the proper medical steps are being followed. Still, it is important that you have some information as we move further into the school year.
What is "scabies"?
Scabies is a skin condition where a tiny mite burrows under the skin and causes a rash.
What are the symptoms of scabies?
Symptoms include a rash that is very itchy and uncomfortable, especially at night. The rash may look like red bumps or small blisters, and scratch marks from the fingernails are often a common sign. They usually infest the skin folds of the fingers, toes, armpits, elbows, wrists, waistline and abdomen, and the creases of the groin. Children younger than two years are likely to be infested on the head, neck, palms, and soles of feet or in a scattered distribution over the body. It takes about four to six weeks for symptoms to appear for those who have never been infested before. Subsequent infestations may appear within one to four days.
How is scabies spread?
By direct and prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with someone with scabies (such as 10-15 minutes of hand holding)
Sharing common household items such as clothing, towels, and bedding
The scabies mite does not jump from person to person
How is scabies diagnosed and treated?
If an itchy rash is observed, please see your healthcare provider immediately. Scabies is treated with a prescription cream or lotion applied and left on the skin for 8 or more hours. If applied at night, the child may usually return to school the next day with a medical note. Family members and very close contacts should be treated at the same time as the child, even if no symptoms are present. Confirmed cases of scabies should be reported to the school nurse as well.
How do you control the spread?
Launder bedding, towels, pillows, stuffed animals
Launder clothing worn next to the skin during the three days before treatment began, and after treatment completion
Use hot water (122 degrees Fahrenheit or 50 degrees Celsius) in a washer and then dry using the hot setting
Items that cannot be placed in hot water should be dry cleaned or sealed in plastic bags for at least one week
Students should be told not to share combs, brushes, barrettes, pony tail holders, hats, other clothing, or towels with other students
What are we doing?
We maintain high standards of cleanliness in our classrooms. We will continue to thoroughly clean surfaces and vacuum floors on a daily basis. We will remind students to observe good, healthy hygiene practices.
How do I get more information?
For more information about scabies, access the CDC or IDPH websites, or contact your healthcare provider.
It is important to remember that once we all return from summer break, we are exposed to germs and illnesses that we might not encounter in other places. This is a good opportunity to discuss normal hygiene habits with your student. This includes hand washing, using kleenex, using hand sanitizer, and respecting personal space. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.