Head Lice

Head lice

Please do not be alarmed, as this is a common occurrence in schools. Head lice are not a sign of unclean people or homes.

Please take these precautions:

Check your child’s hair for eggs (also called nits).

If you suspect your child has head lice, ask your health care provider to diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.

Tell us if your child is diagnosed as having head lice.

If head lice is diagnosed, do not return your child to school until they have been treated.

Information about head lice:

What are they? Head lice are tiny insects that live only on people’s scalp and hair. They hatch from small eggs (nits) that are firmly attached to the individual hairs near the scalp and cannot be easily moved up or down the hair (as can specks of dandruff). They look like grains of sand. Nits may be found throughout the hair but are most often located at the back of the scalp near the neck and behind the ears. The eggs hatch in 6-10 days, with new lice reaching adulthood about 2-3 weeks later. The lice live by biting and sucking blood from the scalp. Lice can survive 1-2 days away from the scalp. Until a person with head lice is treated they can transmit them to others.

How should you check for head lice?

You probably will not see the lice, only the eggs. These are tiny, pearl-gray, oval-shaped specks attached to the hair near the scalp. Look carefully, using a magnifying glass and natural light. Search for nits at the back of the neck, behind the ears, and at the top of the head.

How does a person get head lice?

Anyone who has close contact with an infested person or shares personal items can become infected. Lice are spread only by crawling from person-to-person directly or onto shared personal items, such as combs, brushes, head coverings, clothing, bedding, or towels.

What should you do if your child has head lice?

If your child does have head lice, everyone in your family should be checked, and anyone with nits should be treated. Please refer to the website: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html

When can your child return ?

If your child was diagnosed with head lice, he or she can come back as soon as the shampoo has been used, you have removed as many nits as possible from your child’s hair, and you have cleaned or stored personal items. Remember that you must keep checking your child’s hair for new nits for at least two weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact the health office at 978-352-5790 ext. 3025.