A case of head lice has been detected in many primary classes at Madera. This is nothing to panic about. Head lice are a nuisance but not a health hazard. They do not spread disease. It’s important that we work together to manage head lice. By checking your child’s head once a week and treating head lice right away, you’ll help prevent and manage the spread of head lice at home and in the school. Early detection is the key to preventing and controlling the spread of head lice.
Please take these actions throughout the school year to reduce head lice outbreaks:
- Regularly check your child’s head.
- Talk to your child about how common head lice are among school-aged children.
- Discourage your child from sharing combs, brushes, hats, and scarves.
- Keep hats, mittens and scarves in the sleeves of your child’s coat. Encourage your child to tie back or braid long hair.
What are head lice?
- Tiny wingless insects that are the size of a sesame seed (1/8 of an inch in size).
- Head lice have six legs for holding onto hair and moving quickly. They do not jump or fly.
- They can be grey (transparent) when first hatched or brownish in color once they’ve ingested blood.
What are nits?
- The eggs of head lice.
- Nits are shaped like a tear drop and are located close to the scalp, especially at the nape of the neck, crown of the head and behind the ears.
- They are firmly attached to the hair shaft.
How are head lice spread?
- Directly through head-to-head contact, or indirectly (less frequently) through sharing clothing, combs, hats, scarves, bed linens, towels and earphones, etc.
- Young children frequently get head lice because they have more head-to-head contact.
- Having head lice has nothing to do with being dirty or having bad hygiene. Head lice have been around for thousands of years and prefer living on clean hair.
How do I know if my child has head lice?
- If you see your child itching or scratching his/her head, or notice scratch marks or a rash on his neck, crown of head or behind the ears, inspect the head for lice.
- Not everyone who has head lice will have symptoms of itching or scratching, which is why it’s very important to check your child’s head routinely.
- To inspect your child’s head:
- Ask him/her to sit in a place with bright light (sunshine is best).
- Look closely through their hair, especially behind their ears, at the nape of their neck and the top of their head.
- Don’t forget to:
- Inspect the head of everyone in your household.
- Contact your child’s school, day care, close friends, etc, so that other children’s heads can also be inspected by their parent or guardian.
Head lice can be beat, if we all work together to detect and treat!
Thank you for your attention in this matter.