In an effort to minimize problems with lice and nits we ask for your assistance.
Please take these precautions:
Check your child’s hair for lice and eggs (also called nits).If you suspect your child has head lice, ask your health care provider to diagnose the problem and recommend appropriate treatment.Tell us if your child is diagnosed as having head lice.If head lice is diagnosed, do not return your child to school until she or he has been treated and is nit and louse free. Please see the handbook for lice policy (page 53). Identification of the head louse and its eggs (nits) is as follows:
Lice: Head lice are tiny insects that live only on people’s scalp and hair. They are grayish-white with dark margins, diamond shaped, the size of a small sesame seed. They hatch from small eggs (nits).
Nits: Translucent, silvery-white oval specks firmly attached (cemented) to the hair shaft, not the scalp. They may appear as dandruff (in blond hair they may appear as sand), but cannot be brushed or shaken off the hair. Nits are most often found around the ears, nape of the neck, in braids, or around barrettes. However, live nits may be found throughout the hair and at any length. The eggs hatch in 6-10 days, with new lice reaching adulthood about 2-3 weeks later. The lice live by biting and sucking blood from the scalp. Lice can survive 1-2 days away from the scalp. Until a person is treated they can transmit them to others.
The object of treatment is to destroy both the adult lice and their eggs. One treatment consists of applying a medicated shampoo followed by use of a special fine-tooth comb to remove the dead nits. All nits must be removed to insure proper treatment. Nits will hatch into crawling lice within 7 – 10 days, generating a cycle of self-reinfestation so it is important to check for nits daily for the next 14 days.
Other treatments are available that do not use a pediculide (medicated shampoo) but focus on suffocating lice followed by diligent removal of all nits. Contact your pediatrician for specific information. Children must be lice-and nit-free before returning to school (please see the lice policy in the Handbook).
Clean personal items and surroundings:
Machine wash all washable and possibly infested items in hot water. Dry them in a hot dryer.Put non-washable items (furry toys or pillows) in a hot dryer for 20 minutes or dry-clean them.Seal items that cannot be washed or dried in a plastic bag for 10 days (any eggs or lice present will die in this time)Wash combs and brushes in a shampoo approved to kill lice, or soak in hot water (greater than 128 degrees) for at least 5 minutes.Thoroughly vacuum rugs, upholstered furniture, and mattresses.Vacuum car upholstery and floors. Wash coverings to child car seats. Do not use insecticide sprays because they can be harmful to people and animals.
You may find additional helpful information at the following websites: www.headlice.org
and from The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta: CDC Lice Facts.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions concerning the above information.
Thank you for your help,