Scabies Outbreak Shuts Down The Children's Place

A Children’s Place store was shut down and fumigated after an outbreak of scabies amongst its employees. Ew!

The store is now up and running again with all new merchandise—even though scabies is caused by a parasite that is transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact and not through clothing. Better safe than sorry, we suppose.

From TMJ4 Milwaukee:

Kelly Frank says she feels like she was misled by the Children’s Place.

“I feel like they’ve spent two weeks trying to hide why they’ve been closed,” Frank told TMJ4’s Shelley Walcott.

On October 3rd, frank noticed the Brookfield Children’s Place was closed. One staff member told her it was because of remodeling. Another said it was a computer crash.

After a call to corporate, Frank discovered the real reason: two Brookfield workers had contracted Scabies, a highly contagious skin disease, and the store was being fumigated.

“They went above and beyond the call of duty to clean up,” Waukesha County Health and Human Services’ Peter Schuler said.

Well, if you had scabies, would you admit it? No. No, you would not.

Store Open After Scabies Scare [TMJ4]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Girtych says:

    Glad to see they took actual responsibility for what happened, rather than continue to sell any possibly-contaminated merchandise and hope that nobody else contracted the disease. Can’t really blame them for trying to hide the real reason, though… scabies of all things…

  2. alice_bunnie says:

    Why was she so hot under the collar to get into the store that she had to hunt down the reason and then make a stink about it?

  3. cryrevolution says:

    @alice_bunnie: My question exactly.

  4. INconsumer says:

    i thought scabies was pubic lice? not a disease.

  5. Dvizzl says:

    I contracted scabies in college from a slimy ex-boyfriend. It’s spread by intimate, prolonged contact. So unless those employees were modeling those childrens clothes for extended periods of time, the general public really has nothing to worry about.

    And yes, I still feel the “Ew” when I think about that period of time in my life. *Shudder*

  6. Bloberry says:

    Scabies is a contagious disorder of the skin caused by very small, wingless insects or mites called the Human Itch mite or Scabies itch mite. Not pubic lice. That would be “crabs”.

  7. DrGirlfriend says:

    @alice_bunnie: Not only that, but it didn’t occur to her that the store did the right hting by closing down. No, she has to make sure America knows that she was “misled”.

  8. Draconianspark says:

    She is assuming too much.
    I wonder if she has considered the possibility that the scabies mites downloaded some porn and crashed the company’s computer, then went tearing down walls in a rampage?
    In all seriousness, what does she expect? That’s not exactly something that you advertise; heck I’m shocked that somebody in corporate disclosed the medical conditions of two of their employees, it’s like “A Scanner Darkly,” in that there are only so many people it could possibly be.

  9. porschegal says:

    I live in the city where this store closed.

    There’s actually more to the story than what is here. Parents who had purchased clothes from the store were concerned about the possibility of bringing scabies into the house (although if it’s skin-skin contact – should there be concern?).

    The store has rid itself of all the clothing that was there during the outbreak.

  10. rdm24 says:

    Something fishy here. I didn’t think you could get scabies from casual contact in a work environment–you need more prolonged body contact (like sharing a bed, or maybe lying on a couch together). Also, scabies can’t really survive long off a human body. Keeping the store closed and empty for a few days would be enough to kill them all, without fumigation.

    I have never heard of fumigating for scabies.

    Sounds a lot more like fleas to me.

  11. rdm24 says:

    Oh, and I’d admit it: I had scabies. It sucked. But it’s pretty easy to treat.

  12. Benny Gesserit says:

    @alice_bunnie: She was hot under the collar because she was inconvenienced. Apparently, her children have a GOD GIVEN RIGHT to go to The Children’s Place (whatever the heck THAT is)

    In a fews years, her son will be smoking dope and her daughter’s going to be pressured into having sex by her “boyfriend” but, my heavens, Mom’s on the case about this scabies threat.

  13. Apoch says:

    Jim, you’re an idiot. Since you don’t know what the Children’s Place is (which should be obvious if only from reading the comments) it is a clothing store for Children.

    She was hot under the collar because she was lied to about why the store was closed, not that it was closed.

    Why was it closed two weeks when fumigation would only take a day or two? Well, they probably closed it down before they decided on a plan of action. They had to get someone in to fumigate. They had to dispose of all the product and then wait for a replacement shipment, which probably took some work to get together. They probably also wanted to make sure the employees who had it were better before reopening. Two weeks doesn’t seem unreasonable.

  14. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    That’s not above and beyond. Any company that gives a damn about its customers should and must take this kind of quick action. It’s the minimum expected of a company with any semblance of integrity.

  15. Namilia says:

    Bravo Children’s Place for handling this issue effectively! Customer expectations have been lowered in too many stores thanks to slipshod customer service..a very unfortunate truth that people expect less out of stores because of the general mindset of the retail world to not give a f*ck about their customers.

  16. nardo218 says:

    “Scabies can also be spread by sharing towels, bed sheets, and other personal belongings.”


  17. Firstborn Dragon says:

    You can also get it from camping. I know, because that’s how I got it. Was out camping for a weekend, came home with five pounds of bugs in my hair, and scabies.

    Oh and it was a Girl guide camp. So yeah…

    Either rate, I don’t see the big deal. Things like this happen. They dealt with it. What’s the woman’s problem? If she’d found out they were working and still open she’d complain. They close to deal with the problem, she complains. You just can’t win with some people.

  18. …heck I’m shocked that somebody in corporate disclosed the medical conditions of two of their employees…

    @Draconianspark: I had the same thought. Why couldn’t corporate just say they were fumigating and leave it at that? I suppose the fact that they didn’t say which two employees saves them from a lawsuit but it seems unnecessary to be that specific. Why embarrass the employees over something that probably didn’t even affect the merchandise?

  19. kpfeif says:

    I forwarded this story to the Consumerist. My wife bought something at the store several weeks ago and attempted to return it, finding the “sorry, we’re closed due to system problems” sign. It’s not that we were inconvenienced – we really don’t care much about that. It’s the fact that they had a parasitic disease amongst the clothing.

    We read things both ways – either it CAN be transferred via clothing, towels, etc., or it couldn’t be. Whatever the case, the store should have fessed up and told people the ACTUAL problem.

    Meanwhile, we were left wondering what happens if the clothes are left to hang in another closet for a while.

    While it certainly sounds like everything is fine, it the store should have done the right thing. They did not.

  20. Beerad says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I suspect that corporate weighed the value of disclosing that information and decided it was better to risk embarrasing the employees (who are still anonymous) than not tell the public and have everyone wondering what exactly was going on in the store. Public suspicion = no business, and this way they can be clear about “here’s what the problem was and how we fixed it.”

  21. the_mdg says:

    All I want to know is: If someone goes to a store and it is closed, why would anyone call corporate to begin with?? Sounds like a little too much time on someone’s hands . . . get a hobby.