Although head lice cannot hop, jump or fly, they can be transmitted from one child to another by head-to-head contact or by sharing combs, brushes, hats, etc. School is only one place your child might be in contact with head lice. Preschools, gymnastics, church, movies, and many other places are other environments that your child might encounter lice. Please try to check your children regularly. It is very helpful if you let me know if you have found live lice or nits. All the information that I receive is kept confidential.
Lice are small insects about the size of a sesame seed. They are usually light brown but can vary in color. They move quickly and shy away from light, making them tricky to spot. Nits are tiny, whitish-gray oval eggs attached to the hair shaft. They cannot be easily removed as they are “glued” to the hair shaft. Nits can be found throughout the hair, but are most often located at the nape of the neck, behind the ears and at the crown.
The itching that occurs when lice bite is often the primary symptom of an infestation, although not everyone will experience the itching. A child that is constantly scratching their head needs to be checked for head lice!
Treatment options are varied as there are several natural products on the market as well as the traditional pediculicides. Once your child’s head has been shampooed, it is very important that your child’s hair is combed with a special lice comb to remove all nits and live lice. I cannot stress enough how important this step is!
Bedding and recently worn clothing should be washed in hot water and placed in a hot dryer. Carpeting, upholstery, and seats in cars should be vacuumed. You can put stuffed animals and items that cannot be washed in a plastic bag and store them for 2 weeks. Please remember that live lice can only live for 24-48 hours off a human head.
Remind your children not to share combs, brushed, hats, headbands, etc. Routine head checks are encouraged, especially after playdates, sleepovers, and campouts.
Please let me know if I can ever answer any questions or be of assistance.
A helpful website with more information is: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/lice.shtm