Nurse Rather offers some health tips that could help your child stay healthy and prevent illness. As always, it's important to consult your pediatrician.
Spotlight on Hand Washing
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. When kids come into contact with germs, they can unknowingly become infected simply by touching their eyes, nose or mouth. And once they’re infected, it’s usually just a matter of time before the whole family comes down with the same illness.
This is an ideal time to review good hand washing practices with your children. We are actively working with our students on handwashing, and you can help us by reinforcing these steps at home.
How to Wash:
- Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Warm water is best if available.
- Rub hands together to make a lather. Make sure to cover all surfaces of the hands and wrists (including between fingers and under the nails).
- Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. That is the same time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice!
- Rinse hands well under running water.
- Dry hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
When to wash?
- Before AND after handling/eating food
- After going to the restroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling an animal or animal waste
- After being outside (playing, gardening, etc.)
Head Lice – A Pesky Problem!
Although we have had very few cases of head lice this year (yeah!) I have had several parents ask me to write an educational piece so they know what they are looking for when they check their child’s head. Although these insects cannot hop, jump or fly, they are easily transmitted from one child to another by head-to-head contact or by sharing combs, brushes, hats, etc. School is only one place your child might be in contact with head lice. Preschools, gymnastics, church, movies, and many other places are other environments that your child might encounter lice. Please try to check your children regularly. It is very helpful if you let me know if you have found live lice or nits. All the information that I receive is kept confidential.
Lice are small insects about the size of a sesame seed. They are usually light brown but can vary in color. They move quickly and shy away from light, making them tricky to spot. Nits are tiny, whitish-gray oval eggs attached to the hair shaft. They cannot be easily removed as they are “glued” to the hair shaft. Nits can be found throughout the hair, but are most often located at the nape of the neck, behind the ears and at the crown.
The itching that occurs when lice bite is often the primary symptom of an infestation, although not everyone will experience the itching. A child that is constantly scratching their head needs to be checked for head lice!
Treatment options are varied as there are several natural products on the market as well as the traditional pediculicides. One your child’s head has been shampooed, it is very important that your child’s hair be combed with a special lice comb to remove all nits and live lice. I cannot stress enough how important this step is!
Bedding and recently worn clothing should be washed in hot water and placed in a hot dryer. Carpeting, upholstery, and seats in cars should be vacuumed. You can put stuffed animals and items that cannot be washed in a plastic bag and store them for 2 weeks. Please remember that live lice can only live for 24-48 hours off a human head.
Remind your children not to share combs, brushed, hats, headbands, etc. Routine head checks are encouraged, especially after playdates, sleepovers, and campouts.
Please let me know if I can ever answer any questions or be of assistance. A helpful website with more information is: