From the Health Services Office – Head Lice Information

Head Lice Information

It’s important to take steps at home to help prevent your child from becoming infested with head lice.  Any time children come together, particularly at the start of the school year or following any social grouping like Girl/Cub Scouts, Brownies, Little League, dance groups, or sleepovers, detected head lice cases commonly increase.  Recent studies show that head lice are seldom spread in the school setting.

Direct, physical, head-to-head contact is the usual method of transmission.  Lice do not jump or fly. They survive only for a short time away from the human head and have difficulty crawling or clinging to smooth surfaces.  Check your child’s head weekly for lice and/or nits (eggs).  Mature lice, which are no bigger than a sesame seed, avoid light and are hard to see.  Lice eggs or “nits” are usually found close to the scalp – usually within one quarter inch, and may be easier to spot behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.  They appear as tiny whitish ovals that are “glued” to the hair shaft. They cannot easily be flicked away as dandruff can. Head lice do not transmit disease and are not a serious medical condition.  They cannot survive on your pets.

If you find head lice on your child, please notify the school nurse and treat him/her as directed by your medical provider.  A second treatment may be required in seven to ten days. Continue to examine the child and all family members for three weeks and treat only if live lice or if nits are found one quarter inch or less from the scalp.

Check Regularly – Treat Quickly

Help Keep Head Lice Off Your Child

  • Check your child’s head weekly for signs of head lice.  Classroom notification letters are not sent out.
  • Teach your child not to share or trade personal items such as hats, combs, brushes, headbands, and barrettes.
  • Contain long hair in braids or ponytails, especially in younger children.
  • Teach children to avoid head-to-head contact.

For more information regarding head lice or its treatment, please feel free to contact the school nurse (Betty Mazzone, 978-264-3372) or your local health department.  Thank you for your help and support.