Dear Parents and Guardians,
We would like to take this opportunity to provide some up-to-date information about head lice. There have been multiple questions about lice recently, and we find that there is valuable information out there for parents to have regarding lice. There is really no such thing as an outbreak of lice. Lice are carried by persons and need a human host to live. Lice do not fly, jump, hop, or skip. Lice carry many negative connotations, and the most up to date information helps to dispel the many myths that surround this topic. Lice carry no diseases just make people itch and uncomfortable until they are treated. Lice are carried by a person, and that person feels marked, can feel humiliated, and bad for being singled out. School transmission is rare, and research states the only way to give lice to someone is by prolonged head-to-head contact.
Please read the following infromation and if you have questions do not hesitate to ask your school nurse.
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This is an informational letter to provide you with some facts regarding head lice. It is great information to have on hand for informational purposes, or should a need arise. Head lice can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of having poor health habits or being dirty. The most important fact to remember is that the problem should be quickly and thoroughly taken care of, especially the treatments of the home items. Listed below are instructions for controlling a lice problem in your home.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION: Head lice are hard to see, but signs to looks for are:
- A family member persistently scratching the head or back of the neck
- White specks in the hair. Look for whitish eggs which can be mistaken for dandruff. Dandruff is easily removed from the hair or scalp; however, nits (also known as eggs) are glued to the hair shaft and are very difficult to remove.
TREATMENT OF LICE/HOME ITEMS:
- Wash all articles of clothing, bedclothes, towels, washcloths in hot water with detergent. Dry in dryer for 20 minutes at high heat setting.
- Dry clean items that can’t be washed. If washing and dry cleaning facilities are unavailable, place all articles of clothing/bedding in a plastic bag and close tightly. Leave the bag closed for 12 – 14 days. Lice cannot live off the human body for longer than 48 hours.
- Vacuum the upholstery, carpets, mattresses and other areas of the house or car where lice and their eggs may have been deposited.
- Soak all hair brushes, combs, and hair accessories, in hot water, (at least 130°F) for at least 10 minutes, or wash them with head lice shampoo.
- Do not share articles of clothing, combs/brushes or hair accessories with other people.
- Avoid head to hair contact at home and school.
- Use nit comb to remove all nits (eggs) from the hair shaft.
- Shampoo your child’s head with OTC lice shampoo (Nix), or call your physician for a prescription shampoo. Follow the directions on the package.
- Check all family members, parents and children, for eggs or live head lice for the next 7 to 10 days.
- Follow up with an addition lice shampoo 7 to 10 days after the original infestation. Remember to check your child’s head and hair every day in between treatments.
- If you have found live lice on your child you must treat them, this can be done when they return home from school. You must also bring your student into school the next morning so that the health room personnel can inspect your child’s hair.
- If head lice is found once again, your child will be sent home.
- Your child’s hair will be checked on a regular basis to be sure that the lice has been properly treated.
Thank you, Bellefonte School Nurses