- Head Lice
Head lice can be a common occurrence in the school especially during the fall and winter months. Therefore continue to be on your guard and have your child avoid sharing combs, hair bands, barrettes, hats, and helmets. Also, when students are in close contact at parties or sleepovers, head lice can be contracted! Check your child's head weekly and especially after they have attended an event.
- Ø Head lice facts:
- Lice like CLEAN hair not dirty – it is easier to attach to a clean hair shaft than a dirty one.
- Lice are parasites and need human blood to survive.
- Lice cannot jump or fly, they crawl. Head to head contact is the most likely way to spread lice.
- Lice infest children more than adults (due to head to head contact), and more often school age girls.
- Lice are human parasites only, they cannot be “caught” from pets, and pets do not carry the same type of head lice as children.
- Lice move relatively slowly and can take 30 seconds to move from head to head.
- Ø Tips to keep your child lice free:
- Teach your child never to share hats, combs, brushes, towels, pillows, earphones, pillows, sleeping bags, etc.
- Keep long hair up in a braid, and coated with a hair product. Herbs such as rosemary and citronella help to repel head lice.
- Do NOT wash hair everyday. Build up of natural oils and hair products can “coat” the hair shaft making attaching more difficult.
- Do weekly head checks – focus on hot spots, nape of neck, behind ears, part lines. Female lice tend to lay eggs on the top of the head.
- Recognize symptoms of head lice – itching at scalp, red bumps or sores on the neck or scalp.
- Ø Websites for future reference:
- headlicetodeadlice.com: This website provides the best information on how to deal with head lice. Their video on what to do if you child comes home with head lice is also available for free on YouTube. Just search head lice to dead lice. There are two parts but it is informative and entertaining as well!
Physical Education Classes:
- Prepare your child properly for Physical education classes:
- Old sneakers work best since at times the ground may be muddy
- Be sure that your child has proper gym clothes,the weather may be warm later in the day, but first and second period sweat pants and a light jacket may be needed.
- If your child does suffer from seasonal allergies, be sure that they take their medication either at night before bed or first thing in the morning.
Urushiol Oil is potent! Only 1 nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash.
It is this oil that is found on the Poision ivy plant and it is this oil that causes the rash. Here are some myths and facts about poision ivy you should be aware of:
- Myth: Poison Ivy rash is contagious.
- Fact: Rubbing the rashes won't spread poison ivy to other parts of your body (or to another person). You spread the rash only if urushiol oil -- the sticky, resinlike substance that causes the rash--has been left on your hands.
- Myth: You can catch poision ivy simply by being near the plants.
- Fact: Direct contact is needed to release urusiol oil. Stay away from forest fires, direct burning, or anything else that can cause the oil to become airborne such as a lawnmower, trimmer, etc.
- Myth: Leaves of three, let them be.
- Fact: Poison sumac has 7 to 13 leaves on a branch, although poison ivy and oak have 3 leaves per cluster.
- Myth: Do not worry about dead plants.
- Fact: Urushiol oil stays active on any surface, including dead plants, for up to 5 years.
- Myth: Breaking the blisters releases urushiol oil that can spread.
- Fact: Not true. But your wounds can become infected and you may make the scarring worse. In very extreme cases, excessive fluid may need to be withdrawn by a doctor.
- Myth: I have been in poison ivy many times and never broken out. I'm immune.
- Fact: Not necessarily true. Upwards of 90% of people are allergic to urushiol oil, it's a matter of time and exposure. The more times you are exposed to usushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out with an allergic rash. For the first time sufferer, it generally takes longer for the rash to show up - generally in 7 to 10 days.
- Myth: Poison Ivy rash is contagious.
- Signs of an Emergency:
- About 15% of the 120 million Americans who are allergic to poison ivy are so highly sensitive that they break out in a rash and begin to swell in 4 to 12 hours instead of the normal 24-28. Their eyes may swell shut and blisters may erupt on their skin. This is one of the few true emergencies in dermatology. Get to a hospital as soon as possible, a shot of corticosteriods will bring the swelling down.
Treatment for poison ivy is usually limited to self care methods and the rash typically goes away on its own in 2 -3 weeks.
If the rash is widespread, your doctor may prescribe an oral corticosteroid to help with the inflammation.
Zanfel and Tecnu are two over the counter products which when used immediately upon contact, break down the urushiol oils on the skin to avoid further spread of the rash.