School Age

Does Your Child Itch Uncontrollably At Night? It Just Might Be Scabies



Scabies is an itchy rash that is caused by tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei.

These mites burrow into and lay egg under the skin. It is a common rash that spread fast through skin-to-skin contact. If your baby has been scratching his skin especially in the night then it might be scabies!

In the beginning, you can easily overlook the presence of scabies because it looks similar to the other types of rashes.  One of the distinct and unmistakable sign is that of continuous itching and trails of burrows on the skin where the female mite lays her egg.



The burrow trails are usually greyish to white colour. Mites often prefer the head, neck, face, palms, and soles of the feet to lay its egg. Scabies in children does not manifest fast. It takes about a month to six weeks for the skin to react to the infection. Scabies does not happen because your child or home is dirty.

Symptoms of Scabies in Kids

  • Unrelenting itching especially at night or after a hot bath
  • A pimple like rashes
  • Scales or blisters
  • Sores (due to scratching)

Ways of Contracting Scabies

Scabies mites can live up to two to three days on the surface of clothes, bedding, or towels. Scabies can easily spread fast at crowded places, day care centres where mites can easily crawl from one person to the other which could be from a caregiver or from infant to infants.

If an infected child shares beddings, play mats or towels and other clothing items it can escalate the outbreak. It is easy to catch it from an infected family member too.

Kids cannot contract scabies from pets because the mites that infect them is different from the one that infect humans.

Treatment of Scabies

If you confirmed that your baby has scabies and he attends a daycare then you have to notify the caregivers so they can contain the spread and get appropriate treatment for themselves and other babies even if they are not showing any signs of infection. Scabies is an infection that you cannot wave aside and wait it out, it needs to be treated with medications from the doctor to kill the mites.

Your child will have to stay at home until treatment is completed. Your doctor will likely prescribe a lotion or cream (usually 5% permethrin cream) to put on your baby’s skin.

Give your child a lukewarm bath or shower and dry her skin gently before you apply the cream all over the body. You can reapply on the hand if the child washes it off.  Leave the cream on for 8-12 hours. If your child has scabies, then the whole family should be treated at the same time.

Wash all clothing, linen, towels and soft toys, using the hottest setting possible to destroy the mites and its eggs. Vacuum all carpets and mattresses. For the things you can’t wash, spray them with insecticide and leave them closed in a plastic bag for up to a week to avoid reinfection.

If the itching continues for more than four weeks or a new rash appears, go see your doctor. Do not reapply the lotion or cream unless your doctor recommended it.

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Common Childhood Cancers And Their Treatments   



The body is made up of cells that are vital to life. When some of these cells grow out of control, they become abnormal.

The body process for growth of new cells involves replacing old cells with new ones but sometimes the process goes wrong and then new cells are formed even when the body does not need demand the old cell refuse to die.

These extra cells can form a tumour, which is either benign or malignant. Malignant tumours tend to be cancerous because they invade surrounding tissues while benign tumours are not cancerous. There are over 200 different types of cancer. Cancer that occurs in adult varies largely from those that occur in children. The commonest types of cancer that affect children are;



  1. Leukemia
  2. Brain and spinal cord tumors
  3. Neuroblastoma
  4. Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
  5. Rhabdomyosarcoma
  6. Retinoblastoma
  7. Bone cancer (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
  8. Wilms tumor

Leukaemia

Leukemia is cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. It accounts for 30% of all the cases of cancer affecting children. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) are the commonest types of Leukaemia found in children. Children with this disease often suffer weakness, bone and joint pain, fatigue, bleeding, fever, weight loss etc.  As soon as acute leukaemia is detected, it needs to be treated quickly because it grows fast.

Brain and Spinal cord tumours

Most brain tumours in children occur in the lower parts of the brain causing blurred vision headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and seizures, finding it hard to handle objects and walk properly. Spinal cord tumours are not as common as brain tumours. Brain and Spinal cord tumours accounts for 26% of childhood cancer. It is second to Luekaemia in its prevalent among children.  There are different types of brain tumours that demands different treatment.

Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma develops in infants and young children less than 10 years old. Usually, it grows from some nerve cells in the foetus.  This can occur in any part of the body but it usually starts in the belly as a swelling, which causes bone pain and fever.  It accounts for about 6% of childhood cancers.

Wilms Tumour

Wilms tumour also known as nephroblastoma affects the kidney. It is common among kids between 3 to 4 years old. It can present as a lump or swelling around the abdomen. Some of the symptoms are fever, pain, nausea, or poor appetite. Wilms tumour accounts for about 5% of childhood cancers.

Lymphomas

Lymphomas affects the immune system cells known as lymphocytes. It also affects the bone marrow and other organs of the body. There are two main types of lymphoma -Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin disease) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Some of the symptoms of lymphomas are weight loss, fever, sweats, tiredness, and swollen lymph nodes under the skin.

Rhabdomyosarcoma

This type of cancer affects the cells responsible for the growth of skeletal muscles. It can start at any part of the body. It presents with swellings and pain at the part affected.

Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is the type of cancer that affects the eye. It usually occurs in children around the age of two, and it is rarely found in children older than 6. The child’s eye is unusual in the sense that when you shine a torch on the pupil it turns white instead of red.

Bone Cancers

This type of cancer affects the bones. It often occurs in teens and older kids but it can start at any age.  The two main types of bone cancer found in children are Osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.

Treatment of Childhood Cancers

The treatment for cancer depends on the type of cancer involved and how advanced it is. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, stem cell transplants and targeted therapy.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy refers to drugs that kill actively growing cancerous cells. Cancer cells grow rapidly without heeding the normal signals of the body that control the growth of cells.

Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, also known as targeted therapy or biotherapy. It is a cancer treatment that invigorates a patient’s immune system so it is equipped to fight disease. This is done in partnership with other cancer treatment.

Radiation therapy: Radiation is a form of X-rays that are used to create images of areas of the body that cannot be easily seen. Cancer treatment requires higher doses of radiation. It works by preventing and destroying the growth and reproduction of dividing cells

Bone marrow transplant: This involves the replacement of the faulty spongy tissue or stem cells inside the bones.  These stem cells are the ones that develop into red blood cells, which helps to fight infections. This is used in the treatment of bone cancer.

Surgery: This involves undergoing an operation to take out a tumour. This is used for some cancers. Sometimes other treatments are given as well as an operation.

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