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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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