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What to do for Itchy Students

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by sydcarverrn sydcarverrn (New Member) New Member

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Our school recently stopped purchasing  stock OTC supplies for student use. I have been having lots of kids come in with bug bites/poison ivy that are itching like crazy. Was wondering if anyone could share any tricks I could try for itching as a nursing intervention? Any other non pharmacy interventions for any aliment would be great. My go to is ICE, crackers, mints, water, rest. :) 

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Cattitude has 20 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

5,380 Visitors; 691 Posts

My pockets are empty but I'd either buy a generic bottle of caladryl or send out an email asking for all staff to please chip in a quarter each. Who could say no to that? The teachers don't want itchy kids in the class.  I'd bet you get a few bottles with a nicely worded email.

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BunnyBunnyBSNRN has 13 years experience as a ASN, BSN and works as a School Nurse.

1 Follower; 12,466 Visitors; 794 Posts

We have ZERO OTC anything in the district where I work, so the only things available to me are soap, water, ice, eye wash, and vaseline.  For bug bites, I usually have the kiddo wash it with soap and water and give them an ice pack. 

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CampyCamp has 18 years experience as a RN.

572 Visitors; 115 Posts

We use baking soda at camp when kids don't have things signed off. There's also a weed that grows around the health center that is supposed to work wonders but I dont' think about it unless I'm actually outside.

On the opposite end, I've heard vinegar, but I haven't tried it since we have OTCs and I imagine the kids will complain if they smell like pickles. 

What about oatmeal soap? That might help soothe various itchies. 

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

497 Visitors; 163 Posts

43 minutes ago, BunnyBunnyBSNRN said:

We have ZERO OTC anything in the district where I work, so the only things available to me are soap, water, ice, eye wash, and vaseline.  For bug bites, I usually have the kiddo wash it with soap and water and give them an ice pack. 

My district is the same. Ice usually helps a lot for my kiddos. 

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k1p1ssk has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a school nurse.

3,893 Visitors; 173 Posts

For bug bites, encourage them to stop scratching (sit on their hands when not in use writing) as scratching spreads the toxin (or so i've been told) and increases the histamine response; If they say they can't, have them "make an X" on the center of the bug bite with their finger nail, by pressing in really hard. I think that ones more of a psych-out, but it seems to work! And yeah, ice...

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

2 Followers; 7,361 Visitors; 2,113 Posts

Cool compress (not ice per se - three or four cubes in a zip lock bag with about a quarter cup of water.) They can rub the cool over whatever itches and I'm not worried about "freezer burn." 

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bluebonnetrn has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN.

5,107 Visitors; 102 Posts

a baking soda paste works really well!
just have a small jar with it pre-mixed and dab a little bit on the bite

I have also heard rubbing a bar of soap on the bite helps but I have never actually tried that

 

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Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Article; 4,741 Visitors; 426 Posts

Be careful, some baking soda will say can be cross contained with peanuts for any allergic kids. We have nothing and are not allowed. I send home a note that a student was referred to me for itching and to treat at home and before school kind of thing and if they wish to provide something at school make sure they have the required dr's orders. I give ice which helps at least numb it. 

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1,817 Visitors; 140 Posts

At the beginning of the school year, mosquito bites was one of my most common office visit complaints. I'm talking 10% of all office visits. This is my first year as a SN, and the office was already stocked with "sting relief pads," so I simply gave those out. I did myself a disservice, though, because 3+ visits per day for mosquito bites is not a good use of my time or the students' class time. I'm in a warm-weather state and now that it's sufficiently warm and the mosquitoes are back, I am directing kids to stop scratching, and wash in restroom with soap/water. 

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608 Visitors; 18 Posts

We used to use toothpaste on itchy bug bites when I was a camp counselor -sort of a topical cooling agent. 

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7,704 Visitors; 272 Posts

Insect bites get baking soda paste (made fresh for each case), cover with a bandaid and admonishment not to scratch.  More generalized itchiness gets ice bag and again "don't scratch it".

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