A note to all parents/guardians:
We have had reported cases of head lice. We are sending this letter to all parents to increase head lice awareness so that you may take steps at home to help prevent your child from becoming infested with head lice. Any time children come together, particularly at the start of the school year or following any social grouping like Girl/Cub Scouts, Brownies, Little League, dance groups, or sleepovers, detected head lice cases commonly increase. Recent studies show that head lice are seldom spread in the school setting.
Direct, physical, head-to-head contact is the usual method of transmission. Lice do not jump or fly. They survive only for a short time away from the human head and have difficulty crawling or clinging to smooth surfaces. Check your child’s head weekly for lice and/or nits (eggs). Mature lice, which are no bigger than a sesame seed, avoid light and are hard to see. Lice eggs or “nits” are usually found close to the scalp – usually within one quarter inch. They appear as tiny whitish ovals that are “glued” to the hair shaft. They cannot easily be flicked away as dandruff can. Head lice do not transmit disease and are not a serious medical condition. They cannot survive on your pets.
If you find head lice on your child, please notify the school and treat him/her. A second treatment may be required in seven to ten days. Continue to examine the child and all family members for three weeks and treat only if live lice or if nits are found one quarter inch or less from the scalp.
My child has head lice when can they return to school?
1. Parent must accompany their child to the school office with confirmation of treatment.
2. Designated school personnel will re-examine the student’s hair:
Student will be re-admitted to school if no live lice are found.
If live lice are found and not removed, the student may not be re-admitted to class.
Help Keep Head Lice Off Your Child
All parents should check regularly – treat quickly.
Check your child’s head weekly for signs of head lice.
Teach your child not to share or trade personal items such as hats, combs, brushes, headbands, and barrettes.
Contain long hair in braids or ponytails, especially in younger children.
Teach children to avoid head-to-head contact.
For more information regarding head lice or its treatment, please feel free to contact the school office or your local health department. Thank you for your help and support.
Angela M. Ashburn
10 Steps to Keep Ahead of Lice
1) Watch for signs of head lice, such as frequent head scratching, flaky or irritated scalp, scabs, or the presence of nits. Anyone can get lice, mainly from direct head-to-head contact or possibly by sharing hats, brushes, beds, pillows, towels, etc.
2) Check all household members and close contacts for lice and nits (lice eggs) at least once a week.
3) Be sure not to confuse nits with hair debris (i.e., dandruff, hair spray droplets, or hair casts). Nits are yellowish-white, oval-shaped, and are attached at an angle to the side of the hair shaft.
4) Consult a pharmacist, physician, or school nurse before applying pesticides or other lice treatments. If anyone to be treated is pregnant or nursing, has allergies, asthma, or has nits in the eyebrows or lashes, contact your physician. Never use a pesticide or lice treatment on or near the eyes.
5) Consider all of your treatment options. Remember, lice-killing products are pesticides and must be used with caution. If you choose alternative methods, they may not have been studied thoroughly enough to determine long-term outcomes. The most effective and safe alternative is manual removal by combing.
6) Remove all nits. Separate hair sections and remove nits with a lice comb, baby safe scissors, or your fingernails.
7) For lice treatment, follow package directions carefully. Use the products over the sink, not in the tub!
8) Wash bedding and all recently worn clothing in hot water and dry in high heat for at least 30 minutes. Combs and brushes should be soaked in hot water (not boiling) for 10 minutes.
9) Avoid lice sprays! Vacuuming is the safest and best way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from furniture, rugs, stuffed animals, and car seats.
10) Notify your child’s school, camp, child-care provider, play partners, and neighborhood parents. Check for lice on a regular basis.