My child might have lice....now what do I do?
This is an easily treated condition. Do not treat your student or environment unless you see crawling lice or nits (the eggs).
How it is acquired: Head lice are usually transmitted through close personal contact with another infested student or by sharing combs, hair accessories or co-mingling of those things or persons with head lice at home, at school, church, baby sitters or others personal public places.
What lice look like: Head lice are elongated insects about the size of a grain of rice or smaller. They are greyish-white with dark margins. They do not have wings. They cannot fly or jump. They do move quickly and do not like bright light. This makes them difficult to find in your student’s hair.
Nits (the eggs) A nit is a louse egg and are a tear drop shape about the size of an (.) and vary in color from yellowish-brown to white to clear in coloration. The nits are attached to the hair with a cement like substance that are very hard to remove. Look at the nape of student’s neck and behind their ears as well as the rest of the scalp.
Treatment: Treatment is directed to the individual and their belongings. Wash all clothing, pajamas, scarves, coats and bed linens. You are also to wash anything in contact with their head/ hair.
- Day 1(day of diagnosis) apply louse shampoo follow the Drs. Instruction or on the instructions on the product manufacturer. Several medicated shampoos (pediculicides) are available without a prescription. Please ask the pharmacist. (RID etc.) These are effective shampoos. Shampoo hair.
- Rinse out the product usually after 10 minutes. While hair is still moist, comb out dead lice and nits with a very fine toothcomb. Frequently clean out the comb with a paper towel. Continue to comb out the nits with a bright lamp on so you can see them. Though this is painstaking task, it is the most important. This will get rid of the nits and prevent them from hatching out after the treatment.
- Have child put on clean clothing after treatment.
- On day 2-6, the hair needs to be washed with regular shampoo followed by a heavy cream rinse. Hair needs to be carefully combed with a fine toothcomb to remove any missed nits. If you miss any,they will hatch out and re-infest your child’s hair. Wet lice are sluggish and easy to comb out.
- One day 7, repeat treatment with the head lice shampoo and cream rinse. The pediculicides kill crawling live lice, it will not kill the nits. The 7-day interval corresponds to incubation period of louse egg.
- On day 8-14, repeat washing hair with ordinary shampoo every day. Comb out every nit for 20 minutes every day under a bright light or window. Carefully inspect hair for nits and lice.
- All family members and close friends of child should also be examined. Anyone with crawling infestation of lice and nits should be treated.
Cleaning of personal articles and environment
1. Wash all personal items in HOT WATER and in the dryer for 20 minutes on high.
2. Dry clean clothing that cannot be washed at home.
3. Soak combs, headbands and brushes in very hot water with small amount of head lice shampoo for at least 10 minutes.
4. It is not necessary to do major house cleaning, lice prefers warm bodies to stay alive. If an object cannot be clean, seal it in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. Vacuum house and throw away the vacuum bag.