No-Panic Guide to Kids' Cooties


What is it?
An infection caused by microscopic mites that burrow under skin to lay their eggs; passed from person to person; can take up to a month for symptoms to appear.

What to look for
Intense itching; small red bumps or blisters; red streaks on the skin's surface; common on the arms, hands (especially space between fingers), and moist areas like the armpits or groin.

What to do
See your doctor, who will prescribe a cream or lotion to kill the mites. The rest of the family will need treatment too. Wash bedding, towels, and clothing in hot water.

How to prevent it
If you hear of an outbreak at school or day care, keep an eye out for the rash. Avoid contact with infected individuals.

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