K-5 Vision & Hearing
Grade 5 Puberty
Pediculosis (Head Lice)
- Questions concerning head lice (pediculosis) are asked every year of school nurses and with good reason. There are estimates that between six to twelve million children are treated annually for this common problem. Head lice is not a serous condition. It is also not an indicator of an individual’s personal hygiene or cleanliness at home. Anyone can pick up lice in any number of locations where people gather, a school being only one example of such a place.
- It would be very helpful if parents could examine their children’s hair routinely for head lice. If children complain of an itchy scalp, please take the time to check for lice. What you would be looking for would be tiny grayish-white flecks that resemble dandruff. These particles (nits or eggs) are attached to the hair shaft and unlike dandruff will not be removed when touched. Head lice can most often be found at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
- Should you find that your child does have head lice there are several over-the-counter shampoo-in treatments. It is advisable to contact your pediatrician if you have any questions regarding which product to use. Shampoo treatments should not be used as a preventative measure on other family members who show no signs of infestation. These products do contain pesticides and should be used only as directed.
- I would ask that you discuss with your children: not to wear other students’ hats, caps, headbands, barrettes, or scrunchies. Also please remind your children that combs and brushes should not be shared. Our town policy is that any student suspected of having head lice will be sent home for treatment. Likewise it would be greatly appreciated if parents would notify the nurse if they have treated their child for this problem so that we can control the spread of head lice in a classroom.
- Please feel free to call me with any questions on this matter or any other health concerns. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.