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Jan. 2019

Just a Reminder that Fall and Winter are prime seasons not only for the flu bug, but for another bug as well-lice.  It is important for parents/guardians to be proactive and continue to check their child's head weekly and treat only if live lice are found.  If you find your child does in fact have head lice, please contact your school nurse to discuss treatment options.  As always, should you have concerns or questions, please feel free to contact your school nurse.

 

HEAD LICE FACT SHEET

What are head lice? 

  • Head lice are tiny, crawling insects that can live on the scalp
  • Lice do NOT have wings and cannot jump or fly, although they can crawl very quickly
  • Lice have not been known to survive off the head for longer than 2 days
  • Head lice can lay eggs, called nits
  • Lice prefer to remain in the hair, not the environment

 

How do head lice spread?

  • Head lice spread by close head-to head contact that can allow lice to crawl from one person's head to another
  • Lice can also spread by sharing certain items such as: helmets, towels, washcloths, pillows, combs, brushes, hair bows, and hats.

 

What happens when a person gets head lice?

  • The most common sign of head lice is itching especially at the neck and behind the ears. However, with a student's first case of head lice, itching may not develop for 4-6 weeks.
  • A person will see tiny, white nits (lice eggs) attached to the hair close to the scalp. The nits look like dandruff flakes or sand but are not easy to remove.
  • Lice look like flat insects about 2-4mm in length ( about the size of a sesame seed), have 6 legs, each leg equipped with a claw, and can be tan or grayish-white in color.
  • The presence of nits alone does not indicate an active infestation. The gold standard for diagnosing head lice is finding a live louse on the head

 

Who can get head lice?

  • Anyone can get head lice! Getting head lice has nothing to do with cleanliness or socioeconomic status.
  • Head lice infestation is common in the US among children 3-12 years of age; approximately 6-12 million have infestations each year.

 

How does a person get rid of head lice?

  • There are special shampoos that are made to kill lice. Your health care practitioner may prescribe other products. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the best treatment for your child
  • All products must be used exactly as the instructions on the label say. An adult should apply the product

Ø  Vacuum rugs, furniture, pillows, mattresses and the seats of the car

Ø  Wash bedding, towels, and clothes you have recently worn in hot water and dry them in the dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes

Ø  Soak combs, brushes, hair clips in very hot water ( at least 130 degrees F ) for at least 10 minutes

Ø  Vacuum non-washable items like dolls and stuffed animals or seal them in an airtight bag for 2 weeks to kill any remaining lice

Ø  All household members should be checked for head lice. Anyone showing signs of infestation should also be treated.  If head lice and or nits are found less than ¼ inch from the scalp on a child 2 years old or less, treatment advice should be sought from a health care practitioner.

 

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Head Lice

There are tips below to help prevent head lice. Also, just a reminder that flu shots are available and parents are encouraged to get students vaccinated, as there are already confirmed cases of the flu in our area.

Tips for preventing your child from getting head lice:

  • Discourage head-to-head contact and sharing of hats, scarves, hairbrushes and combs.
  • Tie long hair back.
  • Always send your child's own sleeping bag, towel and pillow to sleepovers.
  • You cannot prevent head lice by using head lice shampoos or products - use them only

if you have head lice.

  • Check young school age children weekly for head lice; more often if there has been a

known exposure to someone with head lice.

What to do if your child has head lice:

  • Notify your child's school nurse. The nurse can give you specific instructions for the

treatment of head lice.

  • Check the heads of all family members.
  • All family members with head lice should be treated at the same time.
  • Tell all close contacts of the person with head lice to check their head.

Important points to remember:

1. Be sensitive to your child's feelings!

2. Lack of cleanliness does not cause head lice.

3. Both children and adults can get head lice.

4. Short hair does not prevent the spread of lice.

5. Head lice do not live on dogs, cats or other animals.

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October, 2016

Just a reminder that fall and winter are prime seasons not only for the flu bug, but for another bug as well- lice.

It is important for parents/guardians to be proactive and continue to check their child's head weekly and treat only if live lice or nits within ¼ inch of the scalp are found. If you find your child does in fact have head lice, please contact your school nurse to discuss treatment options.

As always, should you have concerns or questions, please feel free to contact your school nurse.

This time of year with trying on Halloween costumes may add to the spread of lice. Please continue to check your child's head weekly. Look for signs of itching, especially behind the ears and at the neck.

Anyone can get head lice! It has nothing to do with cleanliness or socioeconomic status. Children ages 3-12 are usually the ones most affected.

If by chance your child gets head lice, contact the school nurse and she has an information sheet available for detailed treatment steps to help decrease the spread of head lice.