When your child comes home with head lice………….
Don’t panic. Anyone can get head lice. It has nothing to do with cleanliness, nor does it reflect on you as a parent. The problem is easily eliminated. Simply follow these instructions.
1. Examine your child’s head to be sure you know what the nits look like. They are tiny grayish-white eggs attached to the hair shaft, near the scalp, especially behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. Lice are about the size of a sesame seed and have 6 legs. They do not fly or jump, but they crawl very quickly.
2. Check all family members to see if they are infested. Any family member with evidence of head lice must also be treated. Do not treat if nits or live adult lice are not seen. If a child is under the age of 2, please consult a physician before treatment.
3. Use an effective head lice treatment. Your pharmacist can recommend an effective pediculicide product. When used as directed, it will be very effective in killing head lice. Do not wash the hair with a shampoo/conditioner or a crème rinse before using the lice medicine. Do not re-wash the hair for 1-2 days after the treatment.
4. Remove the nits (lice eggs). Because no pediculicide product kills all the eggs, it is very important to remove nits within ¼ inch of the scalp to prevent reinfestation. A special comb for this task is usually provided with the lice treatment product.
7. Wash all clothes, bed linens and towels that the infested person has touched during the 2 days before treatment. Use the hot water cycle. Dry laundry using high heat for at least 20 minutes. Items that cannot be safely washed, such as stuffed animals, should be stored in a plastic bag outside of the home (garage or crawl space) for a minimum of two weeks.
8. Clean combs and brushes in hot, soapy water. Water should be at least 130 degrees, and it is advisable to let combs and brushes soak in the hot water for 10 minutes. This may also be done by soaking the combs and brushes in a pediculicide shampoo for 10 minutes. Items can also be soaked in rubbing alcohol or Lysol for 1 hour.
9. Vacuum everywhere to make sure your home is free of lice. Vacuum carpets, pillows, mattresses, upholstered furniture, car seats, anything that might hold lice. Do a thorough job and discard the vacuum bag promptly.
Head lice survive only on humans, and do not affect family pets. To eliminate head lice and nits from your home, please follow the directions above!
- When you return to school, please assist your child by having the nurse do a head check. Your child can return to school if adult lice are not found during the head check and if there are no new nits.
- Please bring the box of the treatment used on your child to the nurse upon your child’s first day back after treatment so that the treatment can be documented.