Head Lice Information
Dear Parent or Guardian:
Head lice most commonly occurs among school-age children. Infestations do not pose serious health risks but are associated with a high level of anxiety among parents. Your help in inspecting your child at least weekly throughout the school year for the presence of head lice would be greatly appreciated.
We suggest the following procedures for inspecting your child for head lice:
1) Under bright light begin looking at the back of the head just above the neck area.
2) Part the hair section by section and look closely for head lice or nits (eggs). Lice are tiny and difficult to see, but they can be up to 1/8 inch in size. Eggs, also known as nits and are tiny, white-colored (old) or black (new), round or oval shapes, will usually be located near the scalp.
3) Depending on the length and thickness of the hair, it should take between 5 and 15 minutes to properly inspect a child's head.
If you suspect your child is infested with head lice, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends consulting with your pediatrician or primary care provider for treatment options and guidance. Available treatment options include newly licensed prescription products that are proven safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following supplemental measures to avoid re-infestation:
- Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned.
- Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5-10 minutes
- Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infected person sat or lay
Spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.