Lice Information

What do you do if your child has lice?  

First, don't panic.  Lice are categorized as an annoyance, they are not a sign of poor hygiene or lack of care for your child.  They do not harbor disease, they can't jump, and they die without a food source (hair) within 24 hours.

So, on any given weekend, if there were any lice in the school or your home, they would be dead.  

Here are some great resources for dealing with lice in your home.  It is recommended that you follow these guidelines and not go to a "lice treatment" salon.  With careful washing of the hair and removing nits you can get rid of lice quickly.

The following site have additional information:

Head Lice Info from OSPI

Head Lice Info from the Center for Disease Control

Managing Head Lice

Managing Head Lice - Spanish Version


How are head lice spread?

Head lice can be spread whenever there is direct contact of the head or hair with an infested individual. Lice can also be spread through the sharing of personal articles like hats, towels, brushes, helmets, hair ties, etc. There is also a possibility of spreading head lice via a pillow, headrest or similar items. Head lice do not jump or fly and generally cannot survive longer than 24 hours off the host.

Do head lice jump?

Head lice to not have hind legs to hop or jump. They also do not have wings and cannot fly.

Can you catch head lice from cars, pillows or furniture?

If a louse comes off the head and is left behind (i.e., on a pillow or head rest), it may be possible for the louse to infest another individual who places their head in that area. Vacuuming is recommended for any areas or items that may be in contact with those who are infested.

NOTE 

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate discontinuing “No Nit” policies (which require students to be free of lice and nits before returning to school). Such policies are not effective in controlling head lice outbreaks for the following reasons: 

• Many nits are more than 1/4 inch from the scalp, which means they have already hatched and have left an empty casing, or will not hatch because they are too far away from the warm scalp to survive the nit stage. 

• Nits are naturally attached or “glued” to hair shafts and are unlikely to transfer to other students. 

• Unnecessary absenteeism negatively affects students, families, and schools. 

• Misdiagnosis of nits is common during nit checks conducted by non-medical personnel 


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