Every year we receive reports of head lice in some of our schools throughout the district. It is important parents understand that head lice infestation is not a result of unclean homes or children. Head lice are usually transmitted from one infected person to another by direst contact with hair. Such contact usually does not take place in the school setting; but rather at sleepovers, parties, and sports or in any situation where there is head and/or clothing contact. Please take the time to educate your children not to use or share anyone else’s comb, brush, hat, scarf, helmet, etc.
We recommend that parents check their children frequently for head lice during the course of the school year. Mass screening of children in school has not proven to be nearly as effective as parents actively checking their children’s heads at home on a regular basis.
What should you look for?
¨ Persistent itching or scratching behind ears and back of neck
¨ Head lice are tiny, the size of sesame seeds. They are grayish tan wingless insects.
¨They do not jump or fly; they crawl on the scalp.
¨Females lay eggs called nits that are glued to hair shaft. Eggs hatch in 10 days.
¨Eggs look like dandruff, but dandruff can be easily flicked away with fingers.
What is the treatment?
¨ Check with your health care provider about which shampoo to use.
¨Remove the nits (eggs) that may survive after treatment.
¨The nits will hatch and cause re-infestation unless you comb them out
It is very important to notify the school nurse if signs of head lice have been found.
Lice Information Sheet for Parents:
10 Steps to Stay Ahead of Lice
1. Know the signs of head lice; frequent scratching of head especially behind the ears and neck.
2. Check all family members for lice and lice eggs called nits. No need to check the dog; lice only live on humans. Using magnifying glass and natural light helps.
3. Treat only family members who do have lice. You can talk to your doctor about which shampoo to use or speak to your pharmacist.
4. Follow package directions carefully.
5. Call your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing. Never use a lice product on a baby.
6. It is essential to remove all nits, which will stay glued to the hair shaft after treatment. You can use a special lice comb or your fingers.
7. Wash sheets and recently worn clothing in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Combs and brushes can be cleaned in either hot water on the stove or dishwasher.
8. Vacuum mattresses, rugs and furniture.
9. When you find a case of head lice tell other parents at school, neighbors and teammates so they can check their children.
10. Most Importantly: Continue to check heads every day for 2-3 weeks to make sure lice are gone.
REGULAR CHECKING OF YOUR CHILD’S HEAD IS THE BEST PREVENTION!