The adult lice lay eggs (nits) that look like white globules that adhere to the hair shaft. They sometimes look like dandruff; however, they can’t be flicked off the hair. They are usually found very close to the scalp. Itching and scratching particularly behind the ears and at the nape of the neck are the main symptoms.
Lice are transferred most often by direct contact with an infested person. They do not jump or fly, they crawl. Lice are indirectly transmitted by contact with infested personal belongings such as clothing, hats, combs and brushes. Discouraging shared use of these items will help to decrease the change of lice transmission.
If nits or live lice are found, proper treatment is required before a student may return to school. There are a number of lice shampoos available for use. Many of these products contain toxic chemicals so be sure to check with your physician if anyone in your home has asthma, allergies, is younger than two or is pregnant.
Wash hair with the lice shampoo carefully following the package directions.
TO REMOVE NITS:
Work under a good light, such as a lamp or in natural light.
Use a comb or hairbrush to remove tangles then divide the hair in sections and fasten off the hair that is not being worked on.
Using a special nit comb, go through each section of hair from the scalp to the ends. You can dip the comb into a cup of water to remove any lice, nits, or debris from the comb between passings.
Look through the section of hair you are combing for attached nits or live lice. Nits are grayish-white, oval shaped and attached strongly to the hair shaft. Lice are brown, about the size of a sesame seed and move very rapidly.
REMOVAL OF NITS IS KEY TO HALTING THE SPREAD OF LICE.
HOUSEHOLD TREATMENTS PLAN:
Check all household members for lice and nits. Treat only those members who are affected.
Wash and dry recently worn clothing, hair ties, soft toys, and bedding on the hot settings of the washer and dryer.
Items that can’t be washed can be placed in plastic bags for two weeks in order to suffocate the lice and nits.
Vacuum all carpets, floors, furniture and car upholstery. Avoid lice and bug sprays. They are toxic and ineffective.
Following treatment, daily head checks of affected family members is extremely important in order to remove any remaining nits and to make certain re-infestation has not occurred.
REMEMBER: ANYONE CAN GET HEAD LICE!
Lice do not discriminate on the basis of social or economic status.
Lice do not care how well educated an individual may be.
Lice do not care if your house is clean or dirty – they like any environment!
An individual’s personal hygiene is not important to lice – in fact they prefer clean hair to dirty hair.
Lice are now a common occurrence in our society and are not a reflection of one’s lifestyle.