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NO CHILDREN IMMUNE TO HEAD LICE, NOTE PHARMACISTS

 NO CHILDREN IMMUNE TO HEAD LICE, NOTE PHARMACISTS
 TWINSBURG, Ohio, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer draws to a close


and another school year is just around the corner, parents should be aware of one of the most communicable diseases to affect school-aged children: head lice. With the exception of the common cold, head lice infestations affect more school-aged children than all other communicable diseases combined. The pharmacists at Revco Drug Stores offer these tips for recognizing head lice and preventing and treating infestations.
 What are lice?
 Lice are parasitic insects about the size of sesame seeds that live and lay eggs in the human scalp and hair. Lice feed on human blood by biting the scalp, which causes it to itch and, in more severe cases, causes swelling of the glands in the neck or underarm areas. Lice are generally found at the nape of the neck, behind the ears and on the crown of the head, and are identifiable from their yellowish-white eggs called nits. However, unlike lint or dandruff, nits will not wash off or blow away. Lice only live two or three days at the most, but a female louse lays three to four eggs a day, and lice eggs hatch every eight to nine days. This amounts to a constant cycle of infestation.
 How do you get lice?
 Because they cannot fly or jump, lice are generally spread via head to head contact or by sharing clothing, hats, helmets, combs and brushes. While there aren't many basic symptoms of lice, frequent head- scratching is a strong sign of the disease. Lice can be detected easily using natural light and a magnifying glass.
 How do you treat lice?
 The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) generally recommends that head lice be treated with pesticidal shampoos, creams or lotions, available at the local drug store. Use the product over the sink -- not the tub or the shower -- and keep eyes covered with a washcloth. This treatment should be followed by the manual removal of nits with a special fine-tooth lice comb, scissors or your fingernails. Your pharmacist can explain the various lice-removal products. Remember to consult your doctor or pharmacist before using a lice treatment, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have allergies. Lice products should never be used on infants.
 How do you prevent lice?
 The idea that lice are generally found on dirty children from filthy homes is false and very misleading. Because of the tendency for children to borrow and share each other's clothing and grooming items, as well as their close social contacts at school, summer camps and so on, any child from any background can get lice. However, there are steps parents can take to prevent children from getting lice:
 -- If your child has been exposed to lice, check him or her every day for two or three weeks, and check all family members for lice and nits at least once a week.
 -- Thoroughly clean and disinfect sheets and recently worn clothing by washing in hot water and drying in a hot dryer, or by dry cleaning.
 Soak combs and brushes in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
 -- Vacuum all mattresses, rugs, furniture and stuffed animals regularly.
 -- Discourage your child from sharing or borrowing personal grooming items and clothing.
 Gone undetected or untreated, head lice can reach epidemic proportions. Parents who do find a case of lice should tell others who may have been in contact with the child, notifying the child's school or daycare facility and other neighborhood parents. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and other parents and teachers will appreciate the help.
 Revco operates approximately 1,150 drug stores in nine contiguous eastern states, and fills more than 46 million prescriptions annually. Based in Twinsburg, Ohio, Revco has annual sales of $2.1 billion.
 -0- 8/3/92
 /CONTACT: Anita Fenrich of Revco D.S., Inc., 216-425-9811, ext. 2413/
 (RXR) CO: Revco D.S., Inc. ST: Ohio IN: REA SU:


KK -- CLFNS1 -- 5944 08/03/92 07:31 EDT
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Date:Aug 3, 1992
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