Head Lice are a common nuisance in school-aged children and can affect everyone. They do not transmit disease. Head lice are spread by head to head contact or by sharing clothing such as hats, scarves, coats and personal items such as combs, headbands, brushes and towels. Lice can survive for up to 2 days off of the scalp.
The most common symptom of head lice is itching but that may not start right away. Children may complain of things moving on their head or a tickling sensation
Nits (lice eggs) appear as tiny yellow or white dots before they hatch. They are located on the hair shaft close to the scalp and are firmly attached to the hair. They look somewhat like dandruff only they cannot be removed by brushing. Head lice nits take about 8-9 days to hatch. That is why it is important to follow directions and retreat your child’s hair in 7-10 days.
Adult lice and nymphs (baby lice) are no larger than a sesame seed. Nymphs mature in 9-12 days to adults.
Check your child’s hair frequently. This is the best way to spot head lice or their eggs before they have time to multiply. You may be able to see the lice or nits by parting your child’s hair into small sections and checking with a fine toothed comb on the scalp; focus behind the ears and around the nape of the neck. If you determine that your child has lice, please treat your child and inform your school nurse.
Exclusion and Readmission:
Students found to be symptomatic of lice infestation will be assessed by the school nurse. Students that are found to have live lice will be sent home from school for treatment. They need to report to the nurse the following morning to be checked for lice before being readmitted to the classroom.
Students with nits only will be allowed to stay in school for the remainder of the day but will need to treat that night and be rechecked by the nurse before returning to the classroom.
Instructions for treatment of head lice are available from the school nurse.