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Health Notice: Head Lice

February 12, 2018

It is the time of year where we are seeing many cases of head lice.  Please be checking and getting any head lice cases treated before returning to school.  You should consider the possibility of your child being exposed to head lice at any time during any community event, not only in school. It is very important that you make it a priority to check your child’s head for head lice at least weekly, if not more often. The first line of defense in controlling the spread of head lice is monitoring for it at home and treating it promptly, if discovered. It is also important to remember that you should only treat your child for head lice if they have nits (eggs) or live lice.


 Lice are small and move very quickly so they can be difficult to find in a child’s hair. Sit in a well-lit area and move through hair checking one section at a time. Be patient and very thorough, as it will take some time. Lice stay near the scalp, often found behind the ears and along the neckline. They can be tan, brown or gray. Eggs or nits are tiny, white, oval-shaped and are found firmly attached to the base of a hair shaft and will be very difficult to remove. Some signs of a possible head lice infestation include an itchy scalp or tickling sensation on a person’s scalp.  Small red bumps on scalp, around ears and on neck may result from scratching.  


It is important that if you find your child has head lice that they do not return to school until they have been treated. One of the most important steps of the treatment process is to use the lice comb to comb out nits from wet hair every night for 1-2 weeks after doing the initial treatment. The treatment itself will only kill the live lice; thorough daily combing is necessary to remove nits before they hatch into adult lice. If any lice are seen 7-10 days after initial treatment, retreatment may be necessary. Be sure to read and follow instructions on whatever lice treatment product you choose. Combing should also be done in a very well lit room.


Cleaning your home and your child’s personal belongings is equally important as treating their head/ hair. This cuts down on their chances of catching lice again, and it protects other family members from getting lice. Vacuum all furniture, rugs, car seats, throw pillows, etc. Lice will usually only live off of a human head for 1-2 days. Soak combs, brushes, hair accessories, etc. in very hot water. Wash all personal items: hats, coats, clothes, and bedding etc. in hot water cycle and dry on the hottest cycle. Any items that cannot be washed should be placed in a tightly closed plastic bag for at least 2 weeks to suffocate the lice.



Please remember to make checking for lice a part of your child’s regular hygiene routine! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at school. Thank you so much for your time and attentiveness, it is much appreciated and will greatly help us control the spread of head lice at school.



Danielle Willenborg, RN

Coon Rapids-Bayard School Nurse

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