Head lice (pediculosis) are tiny insects that live only on the human head. Lice hatch from eggs, otherwise known as nits. Nit color ranges between white to brown. Nits will hatch after seven days. Once hatched, the nits are known as nymphs and within ten days, become adults.
Head lice are almost always transmitted from one person to another by prolonged head-to-head contact. To ensure timely identification, routinely check for nits and/or lice on your child’s head as well as the heads of others in the household. Start examining the head by beginning around the ears and at the nape of the neck and then the rest of the head. If your child does have lice, begin treatment.
Topical treatment consists of over-the-counter or prescription products and combing. Please check with your Health Care Provider for the product that will best suit you and before treating an infant or pregnant woman. Combing the hair with a lice comb is an effective method for removing nits; lice combs can be purchased at most pharmacies and often are part of a treatment kit. Using both topical and combing treatment methods together is very helpful in removal of lice and eggs from the head.
Generally topical treatment is recommended to be repeated after a week; the nit comb should be used every day until the child is nit-free. Continue to check your child’s and household members' heads daily for one week after each topical lice treatment. Wash dirty clothes, coats, hats, bedding and towels as you normally would. There is no need to bag household items.
Our school needs your help and vigilance in managing lice in our student population. Though bothersome, head lice will not harm children or adults, and does not cause illness. Having head lice does not mean a person is unclean or their environment is dirty. Please notify the Health Office if your child has lice so that the nurse can assist you in managing your child's care and monitor for other cases.
The WCASD Head Lice Policy provides management protocols at school.