Information about Head Lice
Head lice do not discriminate. Anybody, regardless of social status, cleanliness, or nationality, can get head lice.
A student with head lice will be excluded from school until they are treated. Parents/guardians will be advised to shampoo the student with pediculicide shampoo and to remove all the nits. Educational materials are available. This child must be rechecked by the school nurse before returning.
When a positive case of head lice is found. The nurse will also notify other nurses in the district to check all siblings living in the home.
How to treat head lice
Head lice are small insects about the size of a sesame seed. They live on the scalp and feed by sucking blood. After a female louse mates, she lays four or five nits, eggs, which are glued very strongly to the hair shaft. Normal washing and combing will NOT remove the nits. After 7 – 10 days the nits hatch. New lice mature, mate and begin the cycle all over again.
Head to head contact is the easiest way lice spread from child to child. Sharing combs, hairbrushes, hooded coats, sweaters, hats, headbands and other pieces of clothing can also spread head lice along with car seats, theater seats, pillows, and headphones.
The first clue your child may have head lice is an itchy scalp. Any child who complains of such itching should be checked.
It is essential that all family members be examined. Head lice live only on people. When using any nonprescription, over the counter head lice product, it is important to read and carefully follow all the directions on the label. Nits may survive the initial treatment and must be removed. To remove nits, hold a small section of the hair by the end and comb from the scalp out toward the ends of the hair. Or you can pick the nits out with your fingernails. Nits will not flake off, they must be pulled off the hair shaft.
Your house must also be cleaned. Head lice can live off of the scalp for several hours and nits for much more, therefore, it is important to give close attention to your immediate environment.
- Vacuum all carpets, rugs and upholstered furniture thoroughly. Don’t forget your car. Remember to vacuum or wash your child’s furry and fuzzy toys, especially those taken to bed.
- Wash all recently worn clothing, coats, and hats. Also, wash towels and sheets in hot soapy water. Dry these items in a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes.
- Soak combs and brushes in hot water (130 degrees) or rubbing alcohol for 10 minutes.
If you suspect your child has head lice, PLEASE contact the school nurse.