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Back to School Top Tips

Back to school this year is going to feel very different from previous years as we navigate the Coronavirus Pandemic. Hygiene is always high up the parent shopping list, this year it will be even more important.

Headlice

Prevention is better than cure! Regular wet combing (using the special fine-toothed combs on damp, conditioned hair) to check for little visitors should be done regularly during school time. The ideal is at each hair wash.  There are preventer sprays available, but the evidence behind them isn’t very strong. Long hair should be tied up if possible as this seems to help prevent transmission.

Headlice are spread from head to head contact, the eggs (nits) are usually laid at the nape of the neck or behind the ears. Once an infestation is confirmed (and we only recommend treating confirmed cases) a suitable product can be selected for your customer. The longer a treatment is in contact with the hair, the more effective it seems to be. Treatment times range from 10 mins to 12 hours overnight. Call into any CARA store and our team will help you select a product, making sure to choose one that suits. If your child suffers from asthma or eczema, some of the lice treatments can aggravate these conditions so it is important to choose the right one.

Once treatment has taken place, that’s not the end of the story! There must be re-treatment after 7 days to ensure that the lice have been eradicated. The life cycle of the creature is around 21 days so treating again after a week will catch any newly hatched lice but hit them before they become mature enough to reproduce. We recommend using the same treatment - only change if there is a complete failure.

This common condition happens to even the most hygienic families, so rest assured that you have not failed in any way if an infestation affects your child. 

Worms (Threadworms)

As with head lice, this condition may be considered highly embarrassing, although it is usually harmless and not serious. Usually the first sign that parents notice is the child scratching his or her bottom. Sometimes parents will see thread like objects in faeces, eggs can sometimes be seen around the opening of the anus. 

This condition is easily treated with an over the counter product, with a second dose used after two weeks. Liquid and tablets are available for treatment from 2 years old. 

It’s recommended to treat the whole household as infection can be present without symptoms.

After treatment, step up the hand hygiene, cut fingernails short, wear underwear at night, and ensure the bottom is washed daily. 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Half of the fat in the brain contains one of the Omega 3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). So we know that it plays a crucial role in brain development. Some studies also show that there is a positive effect on concentration levels. They’re found in oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel but these are not popular food choices with children. We recommend a supplement to ensure your child is getting all the benefits of Omega 3.

 

More back to school top tips:

  • Focus on nutrition - a healthy balanced diet will help boost immunity, help concentration and fight fatigue
     
  • Be alert to early changes of behaviour during term time that could flag potential bullying issues
     
  • Get an eye check organised, there’s lots of visual demands on a school goer - devices, books, whiteboards, etc. An optician will also check for general eye health.
     
  • Apart from diet and exercise, sleep has a huge impact on performance at school. Around ten hours is right up to age 13