Head Lice (Pediculosis)
Head lice are passed from person to person by direct contact or on shared objects (combs, towels, barrettes, headphones, etc.)  The most common symptom of infestation is intense itching on the back of the head or neck.  Head lice cannot survive without a human host, or on family pets.  Head lice do not carry any disease, nor does their presence mean that your child is unclean.

To prevent further spread in the school of this condition, head lice must be treated at once. If your child is sent home due to this, please treat child according to the suggested guidelines.  An adult must accompany your child to the school nurse's office for an examination prior to his/her return to class.  If this is not possible, then it is your responsibility to call the nurse's office after your child's arrival to see if he/she is able to remain in school.

Head lice are small, wingless grayish-white insects, 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length.  Each female head louse lays eggs, also called "nits."  Each egg attaches to a hair shaft with a waterproof cement-like substance.  The egg hatches in a week.

These parasites can be controlled by the careful use of a pediculicidal shampoo and relentless combing-out of the nits (eggs).   Read the directions carefully on the shampoo you use.  They are specific as to whether or not the hair should be wet or dry when the shampoo is put on.

1. Check every member of the family.  Lice are hard to spot, so look for tiny, white eggs (nits) on hair shafts, near the scalp, especially at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.  Any family member with lice or nits must be treated.
2. Use an effective head lice treatment.  Several commercial products are available without prescription.
3. Remove all nits.  Gently comb the child?s hair with the special nit removal comb.  The combs are provided with most lice treatment products.
4. Wash clothes, bed linens, and towels.  Use hot water, then dry on the hot cycle for at least 20 minutes.  Vacuuming is the safest way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs and stuffed animals and car seats.
5. Soak combs, brushes, etc., in hot water.  The hotter the better, but the temperature should be at least 130 degrees. Items should soak for at least 10 minutes.
6. Even under the best of conditions, a few lice or nits may be missed.  Use the lice comb to screen the infested person every day and regularly thereafter.  Seeing a nit or two the next day does not necessarily mean reinfestation.  However, be sure to remove them immediately.  Being consistent and diligent about screening and manual removal will go a long way toward controlling the problem.
7. If additional nits or lice remain after 7 days, another thorough shampooing and manual search is necessary.  Remember that each day is a new day for the risk of a new infestation.  Routine screening is vital for anything that may have been missed and also for identifying new infestation as early as possible.

Share a toy,
Share a slide,
Share the feelings deep inside,
But never share a hat or comb,
Or lice could make your head their home!