Want to Learn More About Head Lice?
by Cathy Slee
HEAD LICE – GENERAL INFORMATION
Lice are tiny, grayish-tan, wingless insects that live in human hair. Lice lay eggs called nits. Nits are firmly attached to the hair shafts, close to the scalp. Nits are much easier to see and detect than lice; they are small white specks which are usually found at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Head lice are no larger than the head of a pin. Head lice infestation is not a sign of poor health or being dirty; it can occur on anyone at any age.
HEAD LICE TRANSMISSION
Head lice can be transmitted in a number of ways – not only by physical contact. Lice can be transmitted from borrowed hats, ribbons, scarves, combs, brushes, towels and pillowcases. Even a stray hair that has nits can transmit head lice.
The first sign of lice is usually intense itching, especially at the back of the neck. Tiny bite marks or skin irritation may also be present. Nits and/or lice may also be confused with dandruff or hair spray droplets. As a rule, dandruff flakes or droplets can be easily removed; nits, however, are very difficult to remove from the hair shaft.
Contact your physician or pharmacist for treatment recommendations. Notify the school so that the health office will be prepared to meet you and your child to check the scalp on your child’s return to school.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO AT HOME TO ASSIST OUR EFFORTS AT SCHOOL?
Remind your child not to share hats, combs, headbands, etc. The kids love to show off their new, stylish head wear and others are often very eager to try on the new item.
If you find that your child has lice, it's imperative that you notify the school nurse. This call will begin a chain reaction of events in our building that will help us to contain the issue.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to maintain the spread of head lice. For more information, please contact Melanie Earnest, Oakwood School Nurse, or visit the Health Services tab on the district’s website at www.sd113a.org.