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Microsoft word - az august head lice 2010

Issue 1 “Pest Management is People Management”
August 2007
BACK-TO-SCHOOL ISSUE: FIND OUT ABOUT HEAD LICE! In the US, there are between 6 to 12 million cases
of head lice each year, most commonly among
children three to twelve years of age.
"lousiness", is one of the most prevalent communicable conditions in the country. DON’T PANIC! IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE! Many families with young children have at least one encounter with the head louse, Pediculus capitis. Head lice can infest people of all ages, but children are prone to infestations because they play in close contact, share hats, headphones, combs and brushes, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and clothing. In fact, saliva may create an itchy irritation. A first case of head lice the problem of head lice can be so rampant among preschool may not result in itching for four to six weeks. Once and school-aged children that often schools work in conjunction sensitized, subsequent infestations may cause itching almost with many families to control an infestation. Head lice (Pediculosis capitis) are not a sign of uncleanliness Head lice usually survive for less than two days away from and do not vector disease organisms. The most common the scalp, at normal room temperature. Eggs cannot hatch at symptoms are itching and sleeplessness. Scratching can lead to an ambient temperature lower than that near the scalp. secondary bacterial skin infection. Head lice cases can result in Laundering and drying clothing and bedding at 130oF will kill extreme anxiety, embarrassment, unnecessary days lost from school and pesticide exposure. Millions of dollars are spent on remedies annually. Head lice are not found on animals or household pets, and are
Back-to-school time seems to be when lice are most commonly transmitted, resulting in widespread infestations by December and January. With September being National Head Lice Checking for Head Lice…
Prevention Month, we are encouraging parents, teachers, and Periodic inspections and early detection of individual lice, are childcare professionals to be aware of this “lousy pest” and know how to manage it. far easier to deal with than advanced infestations. During
the early fall months (August to November) children
Head lice Facts: The adult louse is 2 to 3 mm long; should be inspected weekly by parents.
color varies. The female lives for 3 to 4 weeks and lays approximately 10 eggs (nits) a day. The eggs are firmly An adult louse can move six to 30 cm per minute. They are attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Viable nits are hard to see and very difficult to remove. Nits are easier to camouflaged with pigment to match the hair color of the spot, especially at the nape of the neck or behind the ears. infested person. They are most easily seen at the hairline at the Unhatched eggs will be within 1 cm of the scalp. In general, back of the neck. Empty egg casings are easier to see, nits found more than 1 cm from the scalp are unlikely to be appearing white against the hair. viable. In warmer climates however, viable nits can occur farther from the scalp. Eggs are incubated by body heat and hatch in 10 to 14 days. Generally, around 30% of school children with nits will also After hatch, nymphs leave the shell casing grow for about nine have adult lice. Screening for nits alone is not an accurate to twelve days before reaching the adult stage. If left untreated, way of predicting which children will become infested. the life cycle may repeat every three weeks. Results from one research study found that only 18% of children with nits alone converted to an active infestation. Lice feed by injecting small amounts of saliva and removing tiny amounts of blood from the scalp every few hours. The The presence of active lice in a child’s head is the only given that lice-related itching usually leads to excoriation of definitive indication of an infestation that should trigger a head treatment. If an active infestation is noted, the child’s parent or guardian should be notified immediately. If repeated treatments fail, some physicians will prescribe Treatment options may be suggested. Other members of the higher levels of permethrin (5%), Lindane or malathion, or family should inspect each other along with children who even scabies treatments (e.g. crotamiton, sulfamethoxazole, regularly sleep-over or share hair apparel (hair clips, head- trimethoprim, ivermectin, etc.). These may be extremely
sets, hats, etc.). Parents and school nurses should be hazardous to children, despite being FDA approved. encouraged to recheck the student’s head for lice after treatments have occurred if the child is still symptomatic or Ulesfia (benzyl alcohol) is a relatively new prescriptive
treatment for head lice on children 6 months or older.
Risks are minimal compared to some of the alternatives,
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the
and the product has proven to be extremely effective.
National Association of School Nurses
When using a head louse shampoo, minimize body exposure ( discourage
by confining the insecticide to the head hair. Wash the “no nit” policies in schools. There is no need to send
infested person's hair in a basin or sink so insecticide residues students home.
do not reach other parts of the body. The person applying the treatment should wear rubber gloves. Never apply an Controlling Nits and Adult Lice…
insecticide to anyone who has open cuts, scratches, or Due to the short time period that head lice can survive off the inflammations, and never use these materials on infants head, transmission may occur most commonly with head-to- without consulting a doctor. In all cases, follow label
head contact which should be avoided. To further reduce directions completely and carefully.
potential for transmission, discourage sharing of combs, brushes, headbands, barrettes, pillows, hats, scarves, coats, With pyrethrin and permethrin shampoos, lice should die backpacks or other objects that may come in contact with the within 10 to 30 minutes after treatment. If you find live lice head. Where possible, place hats, scarves and coats on hooks after 30 minutes, resistance may be occurring and you should or in separate lockers or cubbies to avoid contact. If hooks are shared or clustered, have children place their coats and hats in sealed plastic bags, especially if head lice are present. Never resort to dangerous practices such as applying
general use insecticides, or materials such as kerosene!
Manual removal of nits close to the head is always recommended. Fine-toothed "nit combs" are helpful. Special combs are needed for louse removal and will be
Combing and brushing hair damages lice and eggs effective in eradicating head lice infestations only if used significantly. Use of a hair dryer further injures adults, diligently each day for up to two weeks.
Combing is critical to controlling head lice because 20 to
30% of lice can still be alive after shampooing.
1. Comb and divide hair into sections, use a metal fine toothed louse comb to remove nits and lice. After What needs to be done in the home? Once an
combing each section dip the comb in a container of infestation is detected, all clothes should be washed in hot hot soapy water to remove lice and nits. soapy water. Pillowcases, sheets, blankets and other bedding 2. Repeat until all the sections of hair have been material should also be washed and placed in the clothes dryer on the "high heat" cycle to kill the lice and their eggs. Any 3. Clean nit removal comb, clips, brushes, headphones, non-washable items should be dry cleaned or sealed in plastic bags and placed in the freezer at 50F or lower for 10 hours or more. Vacuuming the home will remove shed hair and nits. Unfortunately, there are no independent studies indicating the benefits of nit removal aids or occlusive substances including Continue weekly head checks of the whole family.
"petrolatum shampoos". Other occlusive substances have been suggested (mayonnaise, tub margarine, herbal oils, olive To find out about YOUR school’s policy and oil) but benefits have not been demonstrated. procedures for children discovered with lice, check Head lice shampoos contain insecticides and if they are
not used properly can be very hazardous. Most treatments for lice are shampoos left on the head for no more than 10 minutes. Most will not kill eggs, so a second treatment is Information taken from:

Pollack, Richard J. August 2000. Harvard School of Public Health. Green, T. A., and D. H. Gouge, eds. 2010. School IPM 2015: A Strategic Removing nits close to the head is usually included in the Plan for Integrated Pest Management in Schools in the United States. treatment instructions. Most products warn against using the products on broken skin which is practically impossible 2


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