Letter from School Nurse
We are thankful for the weather beginning to warm up, but that brings along with it an increased risk of head lice. We would like to provide you with some information about head lice and encourage you to routinely check your children’s heads.
Q: How do lice spread?
A: Lice spread mainly through direct head to head contact. A less likely form of transmission is shared clothing, hats, or personal items like combs and brushes. Students need to be encouraged to use their own personal items and keep their clothing (like hoodies, jackets) in their own area or in backpacks when not being worn. Lice do not jump or fly.
Q: Are lice caused by bad hygiene?
A: Personal hygiene and household or school cleanliness are not factors for infestation. In fact, head lice often infest people with good hygiene and grooming habits.
Q: What symptoms will a person with lice exhibit?
A: Tickling feeling on the scalp or in the hair, itching (caused by the bites of the louse), irritability and difficulty sleeping (lice are more active in the dark), sores on the head (caused by scratching, which can sometimes become infected), or finding a live nymph or adult louse on the scalp.
Q: How do I check my child's head for head lice?
A: Part your child's hair and look at the scalp and the hair shafts. Start at the hairline on the back of the neck and around the ears.
Q: What will I be looking for when checking my child's head?
A: Nits – small teardrop shaped lice eggs often white or yellowish. Similar appearance to dandruff but cannot be easily removed.
Nymphs – baby lice, smaller live bugs. They will grow to adult size in 1 to 2 weeks
Adult lice – about the size of a sesame seed. Appear tan to greyish white.
Q: What do I do if I find my child has head lice?
A: Your school nurse or your physician will be glad to answer questions for you. There are over the counter products and prescription products to treat head lice. Any bedding, stuffed animals, recently worn hats or clothing and towels should be washed in very hot water and dried on high. Any personal items such as combs, brushes, or hair clips should be soaked in very hot water or replaced if used on someone with an active infestation.
Q: Can my child attend school with lice?
A: Troy USD #429 has a no nit policy. Students should be treated and have all nits removed before returning to school. The school nurse needs to check and clear the affected child before he/she can return to their classroom.
Please contact the school nurse with any questions or concerns! Lyndsi Jolly, LPN