May 2017

Lice Screening and Sun Safety
Posted on 01/04/2017

 

Lice outbreaks commonly increase when children come together in social groups during spring and summer activities. This is the time for you to periodically check your child’s head for lice.  This is the best preventative measure to curtail lice infestation.

 When checking:

 It helps to use a magnifying glass and natural daylight.  Divide the hair in sections and fasten off the portion of hair that is not being examined at the time.  Closely examine hair nearer the scalp.  Lice may be hard to locate, so look for small, grayish-white or yellowish-white eggs (nits) attached to the hair.  These nits can sometimes be mistaken for dandruff, but they cannot be easily brushed or blown away.

 If lice or nits are found:

 

  • Contact your physician for a recommended treatment.  Treatment instructions should be strictly followed.
  • Examine all family members, daily, for at least two weeks.
  • Notify school nurse immediately.  (This information will remain confidential.)  Inspection of classmates and friends will help to prevent further spread of lice.
  •             Notify close personal contacts.                                  

 Because lice outbreaks are common among school children and even the cleanest child can easily become infested, parents are encouraged to make checking for head lice a part of routine hygiene.  A cooperative effort between home and school will enhance efforts to control the spread of head lice in our community.

 BE SAFER EVERYDAY IN THE SUN – Two types of ultraviolet light called UVA and UVB reach the earth’s surface, from the sun.  UVB rays are shorter, penetrate the top layer of the skin, and are the most common cause of sunburn.  UVB rays are strongest in summer, while UVA rays do not vary by season and are present all year round.  UVA rays can contribute to premature aging and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles by breaking down the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and smooth.  UVB and UVA rays can contribute to the development of skin cancer, including melanoma.

 Sun damage causes both visible and invisible harmful effects.  Sunburn, a visible harmful effect, appears 4-16 hours after damage to skin cells and blood vessels.  It appears too late to make us get out of the sun at the time that damage is occurring, but the pain of sunburn can make us avoid the sun for days.  Usually the skin can repair the damage in a few days, but sometimes a type of invisible permanent cell damage persists.  Sunburns in childhood may be related to the development many years later of the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, called melanoma.  Melanomas can develop in all age groups including teenagers, young adults and older people.  Melanomas may spread to other parts of the body.  Experts believe that preventing childhood sunburns may prevent the development of melanoma, especially in families with unusual moles.

 Almost everyone enjoys playing and working outdoors.  The sun feels good and makes us feel happy.  It would be sad, indeed, if we had to give up these pleasures.  Happily, there is no need to do so if we protect ourselves by following a few simple rules.

 Stay away from the sun in the middle of the day.

 The sun is most intense between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Schedule outdoor activities before 11:00 a.m. and after 3:00 p.m.  Avoid sunburn.  Be aware of the length of time you are in the sun.  It may take only 15 minutes of mid-day sun to burn a fair skinned person.  Remember that the sun is more intense in tropical climates, in the mountains, and when it is reflected by snow and light sand.  Being submerged in water does not protect from the sun’s UVB rays.

 Use sunblock.  Wear a number 15 or higher sunblock.

 Block sun damage by applying a sunblock lotion or sunstick of at least a #15 SPF.  The protective ability of sunblock is rated by Sun Protection Factor (SPF), the higher the SPF the longer lasting the protection.  Spread it evenly over all uncovered skin, including the ears and lips, about 30 minutes before going out. Reapply it after swimming.

 Cover up. Wear a t-shirt and a hat.

 Cover-up with a hat and light clothing when outdoors.  Put on your hat and shirt after swimming.  Never work outdoors without a shirt.  In addition to filtering out the sun, light clothing reflects heat and helps to keep you feeling cool.

 Follow these simple rules to protect your family from the sun’s harmful rays.

 Allergy season is in full swing.  Many children are coming to school with itchy, bloodshot eyes.  This could be due to the fact that the child has seasonal allergies, or it could be due to Conjunctivitis, which is commonly called pink eye.  Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, transparent layer of the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelids.  The inflammation causes redness, tearing and occasionally formation of a yellow discharge.  Transmission is by direct contact, and is contagious for the first 24 to 72 hours and until discharge has ceased.

 Bloodshot eyes from allergies are not always discernible from Conjunctivitis.  If your child has the above signs and symptoms, please call your pediatrician for treatment and keep your child home.

 If your child has been diagnosed with seasonal allergies and requires eye drops, they can be administered in school, as needed, following the school medication policy.  Medication forms are on the district web site, www.ww-p.org.  The medicine must be brought in to the nurse's office by a parent.  If your child has been diagnosed with seasonal allergies, please forward a doctor’s note so I can update your child’s health record.  If you have any questions, please call me.

 

 

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