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News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Effective treatments prevent spread of head lice in children


Photo By: Town Crier File photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Head lice are primarily spread through contact among school-age children. Companies such as LoveBugs in Los Altos, above, offer head-lice treatments in lieu of over-the-counter remedies.

If you’ve ever looked at your child’s hair in the sunlight and seen the quick movement of little critters against his or her scalp, you know what it’s like to realize that your child has contracted head lice. It’s one of those moments most parents don’t want to relive.

Head lice are a nuisance, but they don’t pose a health hazard, they aren’t a sign of poor hygiene and they don’t spread disease. If your child has lice, there are effective, safe and inexpensive ways to treat the problem.

Head lice are primarily spread by head-to-head contact. They are common in school-age children who huddle together while reading, working on school projects or participating in circle time. Lice can’t jump or fly to another person’s head.

Head lice can be tricky to see because they’re tiny, avoid light and move quickly. A common symptom of head lice is an itchy scalp, but that can also be caused by dandruff, eczema or an allergic reaction.

To confirm whether or not your child has lice, have him or her sit in a brightly lit room or out in the sun. Part the hair and look at your child’s scalp to find live lice and lice eggs, called “nits.” Nits are tiny white or tan, oval-shaped beads that are firmly attached to the hair approximately one-quarter inch from the scalp. It’s easy to confuse nits with other things such as dandruff or specks of dirt. If you can remove the particle easily, it’s probably not a nit.

It’s important to start treatment as soon as possible to limit the lice spreading to others. Start with an over-the-counter shampoo treatment that contains pyrethrum and piperonlyl butoxide, a naturally occurring chemical from the chrysanthemum flower (RID or TripleX), or 1 percent permethrin (Nix). These treatments are safe and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children 2 and older.

These head lice treatments kill live lice, but they may not kill all the nits. You’ll need to repeat the treatment seven to 10 days after the first treatment. You can also use a nit comb after the hair has been treated to help ensure that all the eggs are removed.

If an over-the-counter treatment doesn’t get rid of the lice, talk to your child’s doctor about prescription treatments. If you want to avoid chemicals, your doctor can provide guidance. There are companies that will handle lice removal, but it’s best to talk to your doctor about their methods.

Lice are primarily spread by head-to-head contact, so your main focus should be on treating family members with lice. The following may also help.

• Wash your child’s clothes, towels, hats and bed linens in hot water and dry them using high heat.

• Place and store items that can’t be washed in plastic bags for two weeks.

• Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where your child has sat or played.

Your child should go back to school after one treatment with an anti-lice shampoo. Some schools have a “no nits” policy, but the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages this, as it’s important for children not to miss school, and nits are not contagious.

It’s difficult to protect your child from being exposed to lice. But while these little critters pose an inconvenience, they don’t pose a health threat and there are many effective treatments.

Dr. Swati Pandya is a board-certified pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s West Valley Center.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and column editor Arian Dasmalchi provide this monthly column.

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