Lice have always been a problem in schools. By providing some facts about lice, we hope to gain your assistance to decrease the spread of this nuisance. Head lice are small parasites that live on the scalp. They lay eggs on the hair close to the scalp. These eggs hatch in 7-10 days continuing the cycle. Lice do not jump or fly. They are spread by direct contact with an infected person’s head or by sharing objects such as hats, combs, pillows, towels, etc. Typically lice are detected when parents or teachers notice scratching.
Controlling lice at school:
District 186 has developed the following guidelines to deal with lice in schools.
• Students with an active infestation of lice will be handled in a discreet
and sensitive manner.
• Students with active lice will be immediately isolated from uninfested
• Children with live lice will be sent home. Parents will be contacted to
provide immediate treatment.
• The child with lice will be allowed to return to school after treatment
has been given or they bring a note from a physician clearing them to
return to school.
• Parents should never re-treat with lice shampoos or conditioners more
frequently than recommended on the product label. Misuse of these
potentially toxic products is dangerous.
- It is neither safe nor necessary to use pesticide shampoos or lotions to
kill lice. With some patience and the proper technique, a combination
of safe shampooing with head lice shampoos and lice combing will
eliminate head lice problems without exposing the child to the hazards
of pesticides. Natural remedies are also available. In addition to lice
treatment, combing hair to remove nits (eggs) is key to the success of
getting rid of lice.
- Parents who continue to send their children to school without
following a treatment procedure will be required to provide a letter
from a physician or the Health Department. Students are excused one
day only for absences related to lice. Parents who fail to send their
children back to school in a reasonable time following treatment will
be referred to the truancy officer.
Suggestions for home:
If lice are found on one family member, all family members should be checked. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before treating an infant or pregnant woman with lice shampoos. Comb the hair of the infected person every day for two weeks with a fine tooth comb. Only by removing all nits will you get rid of the lice infestation. All bed linens, towels, and clothes should be washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. Fabrics that cannot go in hot dryer and all stuffed animals should be tied in an airtight plastic bag for two weeks. Furniture and carpets must be thoroughly vacuumed. Car seats can also be vacuumed.
Remind your child not to share combs, brushes, hats, hair clips, headbands, headsets, helmets, clothing, stuffed animals, costumes, pillows or coats. If you have questions concerning lice you may call me at 525-3204.
Dental Exams are due for Kindergarten and 2nd grade students by May 15th. Please send your child’s completed form as soon as possible. If you have not submitted a dental exam for your child, please call 525-3204 for questions or assistance obtaining a waiver.
Physical Exams are mandatory for all kindergarten, 6th and 9th grade students. If your child has not had a recent physical, please call your physician today to schedule an appointment. School physicals must have been done within one year of the start of the new school year.
For more information on these and other topics, please visit the Springfield District 186 Health Services website @ http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/healthservices/
Valerie Rogers RN