To: Eastside Elementary Parents and Guardians
From: Mr. Lumpkin
There has been a reported case of head lice in your child’s classroom.
It is each parent/guardian’s responsibility to check the hair of their children. A good rule is to check your child on the weekend so treatment can be done if needed to keep absenteeism to a minimum. At intervals, students’ hair will be checked at school. A parent/guardian will be notified to pick up any student found to have head lice for treatment per school policy. Students will be rechecked upon return to school to determine if treatment to eliminate the lice and nits has been successful.
Your pharmacist can recommend a suitable product, or you may want to contact the health department or your physician. Using shampoo alone is not enough—a fine tooth comb must be used daily to remove nits. Remember these three steps: 1. Shampoo vigorously with a lice shampoo, 2. Rinse thoroughly, 3. Comb carefully. It may be even necessary to manually remove nits using the thumb and index finger method. Remember, head lice is not gotten rid of just overnight or after one treatment. It takes determination to break the cycle by shampooing and ‘nit picking’ to rid an individual of these pesky parasites. Also remember to wash towels, clothing and bedding, as well as vacuum furniture, floors/carpets. Sometimes a second treatment is needed 6-7 days from the first treatment.
Overall, the best advice is to check regularly especially if you notice your child complains of an itchy head or you notice frequent scratching.
WHO GETS LICE? - Anyone. Frequent, regular shampooing does not prevent lice. Younger children seem to catch them more frequently because of more close contact with one another. Animals do not carry or contract head lice.
HOW DO YOU GET THEM? - They walk, they do not fly or hop. They travel from person to person directly (two heads touching) or are transferred via personal articles (i.e. combs, brushes, hats, pillowcases, etc.)
FACTS ABOUT LICE - The adult louse is a wingless insect less than 1/8" long and is a pale brownish-gray. Lice do not carry disease. They bite the scalp causing itching. They move quickly and avoid light so they are often difficult to see.
The female louse lays 3-6 eggs (nits) per day and may live up to 30 days.
FACTS ABOUT NITS - The nits (egg sacs) of lice are cemented to human hair with Nature’s Own superglue. The nits appear as small, silvery oval-shaped specks that look like dandruff. But they are very difficult to remove. The nits hatch in 7-10 days.
Don’t be embarrassed to notify your child’s school (daycare, camp, etc.) so other parents can be alerted to a possible outbreak. Also notify your child’s playmate’s parents. Parental cooperation will help protect all children including your own.