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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295

Hygiene Concerns - Screenings - Winter Sport Athletes

Happy Friday from the Health Office!


Hygiene Concerns

The almost teen and early teens are the prime years for noticing strong body odor which is a result of natural changes in growth and development. There is an observable lag between recognizing these changes and developing new hygiene habits to accommodate for them. Staff, students and parents are wondering how to address body odor with some teens. This is a sensitive topic as students can be isolated or ostracized if their peers think they smell bad and be embarrassed if confronted.

I noticed that many of the younger boys (and a few of the older), who probably do not recognize those changes in themselves yet, are quite pungent and dirty in comparison to the mostly older kids who have adopted new shower, deodorant, and clean clothing routines. Girls predominantly adapt in later elementary or middle school because their bodies typically mature earlier, but some of the girls are experiencing body odor as well. 

Some simple recommendations for helping your child prevent body odor: 

  1. Daily morning showers with mild soap and warm water (for those who must have PM showers they should wear clean pajamas - change pillowcases frequently, and re-wash and re-apply deodorant in the AM).
  2. Daily deodorant/antiperspirant - there are clinical strength deodorants available now although usually it is absence of deodorant or dirty clothing/infrequent showering that is the culprit; not a weak deodorant.
  3. Clean clothing daily (NO re-wearing of clothes!). Lots of teens throw their stuff on the floor and pick from the mess and may be re-wearing dirty clothes which can smell really bad as the day progresses! Coats, jackets and uniforms are often culprits as they tend be worn repeatedly without laundering.
  4. Avoid polyester, nylon and other man-made fabrics in shirts, underwear, and socks, as they hold odors even after laundering - go for 100% cotton or other natural fibers which allow the skin to breathe and result in less sweating and odor. Launder smelly items in warm water.
  5. Avoid hats - they hold sweat and odor. If hats are a must, you can buy a hat frame (to maintain shape of ball caps) and put the hat in the dishwasher for frequent laundering. Knit hats can go in the regular wash or be hand-washed frequently.



Mandated by the State of Massachusetts, the vision, hearing, height, and weight screenings for 7th and 10th Graders will begin in November during Wellness.  If any parent would like to opt their child out, please send an email/letter to stating that you would like to opt out of the screening.


ATTENTION: Winter Sport Athletes

If you haven't already done so for this school year, please go to the Health Portal ( and complete the "Sports 2019-2020 Athlete Documentation - Without the Student Emergency and Health Form". All required documents are merged together.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A current physical (within 13 months of the start of the season) must be on file in the nurse's office. There are no exceptions and students are not allowed to participate in practices if they don’t have a current physical. Sports physicals can be done at most urgent care facilities as well as CVS Minute Clinics.


Health Office Wish List:

  • TISSUES (LOTS of runny noses right now!)

  • Cough drops

  • Band-Aids (all sizes)

Thank you for your continued support to help care for the students and staff at Parker.

Be well - Smile often - Stay healthy! 
Don't forget your flu vaccine!

Warm Regards, Lisa

Liza Zick, BSN, RN
School Nurse
Office Hours: 8:15 AM - 3:45 PM
(Weds until 2:15 PM)
Phone: 978-772-3293 x135
Fax: 978-772-9494



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