St Clares Primary School

Education is for Life

Headlice – Advice for Parents

Head Lice Advice – Must be followed by all if problem is to be eliminated

The tiny insects known as head lice can infest the head and neck area and attach their eggs to the base of the hair shaft.Head lice do not cause disease, but they can itch and irritate the scalp. And excessive scratching can cause bacterial infection. But a number of products are available to treat head lice.

Head lice are spread mainly by direct head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. Lice don’t fly or jump; they move by crawling. But because children play so closely together and often in large groups, lice can easily travel from child to child.

Head lice are blood-sucking insects about the size of a sesame seed and tan to grayish-white in color. They attach themselves to the skin on the head and lay eggs (nits) in the hair.

Getting lice does not mean you are dirty—it only means that you’ve been around others with head lice,

Treating Head Lice – Use a fine tooth comb.

You can check for head lice or nits by parting the hair in several spots. Use a magnifying glass and a bright light to help spot them. Lice can move fast so it may be easier to spot the nits.

Nits can look like dandruff, but you can identify them by picking up a strand of hair close to the scalp and pulling your fingernail across the area where you suspect a nit. Dandruff will come off easily, but nits will stay firmly attached to the hair.

If infected treat with a suitable headlice product after fine tooth combing Follow these steps to use any head lice treatment safely and appropriately:

  • After rinsing the product from the hair and scalp, use a fine-toothed comb or special “nit comb” to remove dead lice and nits.
  • Apply the product only to the scalp and the hair attached to the scalp—not to other body hair.
  • Before treating young children, talk with the child’s doctor or your pharmacist for recommended treatments based on a child’s age and weight.
  • Use medication exactly as directed on the label and never more often than directed unless advised by your health care professional.
  • Use treatments on children only under the direct supervision of an adult.

Prevention

  • Teach children to avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playgrounds,).
  • Teach children not to share clothing and supplies, such as hats, scarves, …
  • Disinfect combs and brushes used by a person with head lice by soaking them in hot water .
  • Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with a person with head lice.
  • Clean items that have been in contact with the head of a person with lice .
  • Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the person with lice sat or lay. Head lice survive less than one or two days if they fall off the scalp and cannot feed.
  • Do not use insecticide sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
  • After finishing treatment with lice medication, check everyone in your family for lice after one week. If live lice are found, contact your health care professional.