Head lice are small wingless insects that live on the human scalp. They do not jump or fly but crawl very fast. An adult louse lays several nits or eggs which are very tiny and hard to see. Nits are attached to the hair with a glue like substance, unlike dandruff which flakes away. Nits are mostly found on the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Nits hatch in 7-10 days causing a head lice infestation. Each family member should have their heads checked and treatment should begin if nits or lice are found.

    Signs of Lice

    Itchy scalp, tiny gray or brown bugs in the hair, nits (tiny yellowish-white or brown oval eggs attached directly to the hair shaft) and scalp rash.

    Guidelines for Head Lice in School

    Students are excused 2 days of absence to treat headlice. if the students are picked up by parent during the day this will be an excused absence.

    In order for the child to return to school, the parent must provide proof of treatment (a receipt, the box, a picture of treatment). The nurse will examine the child for live lice and/or nits. If no live lice are seen and the number of nits are diminished from the initial check, students may go to class. Students will be re-checked for the presence of head lice after 7-10 days. Parents must remove all nits from their child's hair. 

    Over the Counter Lice Treatment

    • Use over the counter lice treatment as directed. Ask a pharmacist questions if necessary
    • Use on dry hair, apply amount listed on product.
    • Massage lice treatment thoroughly onto dry hair until hair is soaked completely.
    • Leave lice treatment on hair as directed, rinse out.
    • if you have tried over the counter lice treatments and feel it's not effective, try alternative methods. For example: Apply mineral or olive oil to hair, leave on for 30 minutes, wash out with dawn dish soap. Apply white vinegar, leave on 30 minutes, rinse out. Continue to pull or comb nits out.

     Combing/Pulling Nits Out

    • This is the most important step in getting rid of head lice. No lice treatment kills 100% of nits, so all nits must be removed to prevent them from hatching. if one nit is left, the head problem could continue. As you remove the nits, put them in alcohol.
    • Good light is a necessity. Sunlight or fluorescent light is best.
    • Metal combs work better than plastic combs. Combing out nits is not the same as combing hair with a regular comb. You must divide the hair into 4 sections and take small sections (1 inch wide) of hair and comb or pull nits out.

    Checking hair DAILY

    Use bright light, section hair and spend time daily searching for nits. Remember, if nits remain they may not be dead from the lice treatment. If nits hatch, the problem will start all over again. Continue to check hair for nits daily for at least one month. Notify your school nurse if you find additonal nits or adult lice.

    Retreat in 7-10 Days

    • Re-treat with lice treatment in 7-10 days. Follow instructions. Continue to pull nits out.

    Home Treatment

    • Wash all bed linens and pillows in hot water. Place in dryer. After initial cleaning, place linens and pillow in dryer daily on high for 10 minutes. Vacuum mattress daily. Wash clothes worn, hats and other washable items in hot water. Dry clean if necessary.
    • Vacuum carpet, cloth furniture and seats of cars. throw bag away.
    • Place all stuffed animals or items with cloth in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

    Head Lice Prevention

    Head lice are mainly spread by head to head contact. head lice can spread indirectly by sharing clothes, bed linens, hats and brushes. Education is the best prevention. teach your child not to share hats, helmets, jackets, combs and brushes.