Head lice, although not an illness or a disease is very common among children and is spread through head-to-head contact during play, sports and when children share items like combs, hats, brushes, and headphones.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, 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.
Recommendations for parents:
- If careful observation indicates that a student has head lice, the school nurse will contact the student’s parent to determine whether the child will need to be picked up from school and to discuss a plan for treatment with an FDA-approved (over-the-counter) medicated shampoo or cream rinse that may be purchased from any drug or grocery store. After the student has undergone one treatment, the parent should check in with the school nurse to discuss the treatment used.
- Check your child’s hair daily. If you find lice, treat your child and any children who share rooms or beds in the house. In addition, bed sheets, pillowcases, and clothes must be washed in hot water. Stuffed animals or other items which cannot be washed, should be place in a plastic bag for 48 hours.
- The nurse can also offer additional recommendations, including subsequent treatments and how best to get rid of lice and prevent their return.
Additional resources for prevention and treatment:
If you have any questions, feel free to contact your child’s school nurse.See the attachments below:
- Parent 101 - Information on Head Lice in English
- Parent 101 - Information on Head Lice in Spanish