Every year we receive reports of outbreaks of head lice in our community. The school can help by making you aware of these happenings so that preventive measures can be taken. It is important all parents understand that head lice infestation is not relegated to unclean homes and children. We ask the cooperation of parents that daily checks be made of their children’s hair to prevent an outbreak in our school. It is of the utmost importance that the school health office be notified if signs of head lice have been found.
WHAT DO HEAD LICE LOOK LIKE?
Head lice are difficult to see. They are tiny (like sesame seeds), wingless, bloodsucking insects that feed on the human scalp. They do not fly or jump, but crawl at high speed. The female lays small eggs (nits) which she glues to the root area of hair shafts with a sticky material. The nits are usually found at the back of the head or behind the ears and hatch in approximately ten days.
HOW CAN I TELL WHEN THEY ARE PRESENT?
A persistent itch is often the first sign, followed by infected scratch marks on the scalp, which may appear to be a rash. Close inspection of the root hairs towards the back of the head will reveal nits attached to the root areas of the hair shafts. Nits are tear drop shaped, white to brown or silver in color. Nits look like dandruff, but dandruff flakes can easily be flicked away with the fingers.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?Please check with your physician for recommended treatment options. If over the counter products are recommended, follow instructions carefully. To insure a thorough job, wash your child’s clothes, bed sheets, combs and brushes; put toys and unwashables in plastic bags for at least two weeks; and vacuum. After treatment please bring your child to the health office before returning to class. Even if they have been treated the school nurse should be informed. All information is kept confidential.