Thursday, November 19, 2015

Head Lice

Unfortunately we have had a few cases of head lice in the elementary and middle schools. The presence of head lice is in no way a reflection upon a person’s personal hygiene or cleanliness.  This condition is found wherever large groups gather and can be picked up in any place upon contact with a person having head lice.  This blog is to make you aware rather than alarmed.

As a parent you can help to prevent the further spread of head lice by checking your child’s hair daily for the presence of lice or nits on the hair.  The eggs or nits attach themselves firmly to single strands of hair and may be white or brown in color.  They are commonly found at the hairline and near the base of the neck.  Watch for evidence of itching. Also, encourage your child to refrain from sharing hats or combs with other students.

Treatment is necessary before returning to school if any head lice or nits are found.  There are numerous products available for the treatment of this condition.  Your physician or pharmacist can recommend a suitable product for you.  Keep in mind that shampooing with regular shampoo is not enough.  A fine tooth comb must be used daily to remove all of the nits.  If not removed, they can hatch.  Hair should then be shampooed daily with regular shampoo followed by a hair conditioner daily.  Conditioning makes the hair slippery and difficult for the eggs to be attached.  After 7 days, a 2nd lice shampoo application is necessary. It is recommended to wash all bedding, stuffed animals, hats and coats and dry them in a dryer.

Julie Paulsen, RN-C

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