The Facts of Lice
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE INFO
Each school year the issue of head lice becomes a concern for some families. The following evidenced based information is intended to increase head lice awareness so that parents can take steps at home to help prevent their children from acquiring head lice.
Parents should examine their child's head regularly, especially behind the ears and at the nape of the neck, for crawling lice and nits, if your child exhibits symptoms of a head lice infestation. If crawling lice or nits are found, all household members should be examined for crawling lice and nits every 2–3 days.
Persons with live (crawling) lice or nits within 1⁄4 inch or less of the scalp should be treated. Do not treat any individual that does not have lice.
Only 1 in 10 transmissions occur at school.
The most common outbreaks are seen at the start of the school year, after winter break, spring break, all times when the students are out of school for extended periods.
At the time live lice are found, the student has probably had the infestation for a while.
Transmission occurs most often during play dates and sleep overs.
Transmission can occur from shared hair care items, hats, etc. but is less likely.
Lice do not jump and do not have wings so they cannot fly. They crawl.
Children diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.
Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
The National Association of School Nurses, American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC all agree that classroom and/or school wide head lice screening programs have not had a significant effect on the incidence of head lice in the school setting over time and have not proven to be cost effective and therefore no longer recommend this practice. Doing these screenings also makes it impossible to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the students.
If you find head lice on your child, please notify the school and properly treat him/her at home. Continue to examine all family members for 2 weeks.
For more information regarding head lice or its treatment, please feel free to contact the school nurse or your physician. There is also information available on the CDC website found at http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head.