INFORMATION FROM THE HEALTH OFFICE
HORACE MANN SCHOOL
Lee-Ann Halbert, R.N.,
Don't panic! Anyone can get head lice. It has nothing to do with
cleanliness, nor does it reflect on you as a parent. This nuisance
disease can be eliminated by carefully following these instructions.
child's head to be sure you know what the live lice and nits look like.
Nits are tiny grayish-white eggs attached to the hair near the scalp and
are sometimes more prevalent behind the ears and at the nape of the
Check all other
family members to see if they are infested. Any family member with
evidence of head lice must also be treated at the same time as the
Use an effective
head lice treatment. Consult your physician/health care provider
regarding the treatment recommended. If a pediculicide is recommended,
it must be used exactly as directed. Before treatment, remove any cream
rinse from previous shampooing because this may reduce the effectiveness
of the treatment. Repeat treatment again in 7-10 days if the directions
Remove the nits
(lice eggs). Because the pediculicide/recommended treatment may not
kill all the eggs, it is very important to remove all traces of the nits
to prevent reinfestation. The nits may be picked off the hair shaft
with a sliding motion. A special fine-toothed comb for this task can be
helpful. The nits that are removed should be placed into a plastic bag
that can be tied off and discarded outside your home. Daily
checks/removal of nits for 4 weeks is also advised.
Wash all clothing,
bed linens, and towels in hot water (130o F) and dry them on
Hot cycle for at least 20 minutes. Items that cannot be safely washed
(stuffed animals, helmets) may be stored in a tightly sealed plastic bag
for two weeks or dried using high heat. Continue to wash linens
regularly for the next four weeks.
Clean combs and
brushes in hot soapy water. Water should be at least 130o F,
and it is advisable to let your combs and brushes soak in the hot water
for at least 10-15 minutes. Family members should not share combs,
brushes, or scrunchies.
and upholstered furniture and car seats, especially where children may
sit, play, or watch television. The use of insecticide sprays of
fumigants is neither necessary nor recommended. Do a thorough job and
discard this initial vacuum bag promptly. It is recommended that you
continue to vacuum regularly over the next four weeks.
Head lice survive
only on humans and do not affect family pets. Head lice may survive 24
- 48 hours off a human host. If the insect in the nit was not destroyed
by the treatment or removed, it could potentially hatch in 7-10 days. To
eliminate head lice and nits from your home and help prevent their
spread to others, follow the above directions carefully.
Your child must be
accompanied by a parent/guardian upon his/her return to school. The school nurse will inspect your
child's scalp. If there is no active infestation, i.e., live lice or
five or more nits 1/4" from the scalp, you child may reenter school.
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