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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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