Lice are tiny wingless parasites that only live on humans and are contagious. They do not spread disease, but their bites can make your child’s head itchy and irritated.
Lice are not a sign of poor hygiene. Reassure your child that being infected with lice is nothing to be ashamed of. Shaving your child’s head is not recommended. Your child’s self esteem is worth more than a quick fix.
Lice infestation can be an ongoing battle. If your child still has lice, it could be from eggs, called nits, left behind, continued exposure to an infected person or place, or ineffective treatment. If your student still has lice after two weeks or their scalp is infected, contact your doctor.
Students found with lice are to be sent home for treatment, immediately. They may return the following school day after being treated. They must be re-examined by the school nurse before returning to the classroom.
There are a variety of prescription and over the counter treatments available. However, if the treatment is done incorrectly or the lice are resistant, it may be unsuccessful.
Mayonnaise and oil treatments are popular natural options but do not have a high success rate unless done as directed for 21 days. Vinegar may help loosen the “glue” holding the nits to the hair shaft and can make manual removing easier.
One of the most effective treatments is to remove all lice and nits with a metal nit comb. Work with wet hair in small sections, comb out the lice and nits then wipe them onto paper towels and place into a sealable baggie. Do this every 2-3 days to prevent re-infestation.
Please continue to check your child on a regular basis, especially after sleepovers.
Machine wash and dry clothing, bedding and other items that the infested person used during the last 2 days using hot water in the laundry cycle and high heat in the drying cycle.
Anything that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned place in a sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks.
Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Vacuum the floor, mattress, furniture, and the family cars, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. Seal and throw away the vacuum bag or empty and clean the vacuum canister outside the home.
Head lice can survive up to 2 days off of a scalp. The nits, can live up to 1 week, but will die if not kept at a similar temperature as the human scalp.