Head lice are small insects that reside mainly on the scalp and neck hairs of a human host. Because they feed off the host's capillary blood through the scalp, they must live close to the scalp. Head lice are an annoyance but relatively harmless since head lice are not associated with disease transmission. An infestation of head lice may occur despite over-all cleanliness and the use of good hygiene practices. Most often, a live louse and its eggs are found behind a child's ears, at the base of the neck and in hair bangs, if present. Unlike flecks of dandruff, the oval shaped eggs are difficult to remove from the hair shaft; the eggs must be pulled off the hair shaft.
If an active case of head lice are found on your child's head during school, you will be called and asked to take your child home. Your child's hair and scalp must be treated. You may call your child's physician or treat your child's head and scalp with an Over-the- Counter (OTC) head lice treatment system.
Tips to remember in the control or prevention of head lice infestations
* Be alert to early warning symptoms such as head scratching or the appearance of white oval specks not easily removed from the hair shaft.
* Avoid head to head contact during the school day or during sport related activities.
* Do not share clothing, hats, towels, combs, brushes, or hair accessories.
* Inspect your child's head at least weekly and especially after group activities such and slumber parties or camping activities.
* In the school or classroom, separate children belongings onto hooks or into cubicle spaces. Avoid putting clothing into piles.
* Wash your child's hair frequently.
* Notify neighbors, friends, and other playmates who have been in contact with your child that your child had head lice and is being treated.
Please contact the school nurse if you think your child has head lice or if you have questions related to treating head lice.