A GUIDE TO HEAD LICE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

 

What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny insects the size of a sesame seed that live only on human heads.  They depend on human blood for survival.  Head lice cannot jump or fly, but can crawl quickly.  They lay eggs, called nits, on the hair shaft.  Nits are the size of the eye of a needle, oval shaped, and vary from light gray to dark brown in color.  Nits are found anywhere on the hair, but usually are found close to the scalp, behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.

Symptoms of head lice:

  • Itching of the head and scalp
  • scratch marks that may look like a rash

What is the life cycle of lice?

Lice typically will live on a person's scalp for up to 30 days and require nourishment (human blood) at least every 48 hours.  They survive only a day or two off the human head.  An active case is defined as lice or nits that are found within 1/4 inch of the scalp.  Head lice are spread by direct contact with an infested person.

 

 

Lansing USD 469 Attendance Procedure Regarding Head Lice

 

  • If a student has an active case of head lice (defined as having lice or nits within 1/4 inch of the scalp), the parent or guardian will be notified to pick up the student from school.
  • After proper treatment with an antiparasitic shampoo, the student may return to school and report first thing to the nurse's office.
  • The nurse will perform a head check and if the student no longer has an active case of head lice, the student can return immediately to class.
  • If the student continues to display an active case, the student must return home for additional treatment.

If you have additional questions, please contact the school nurse or family physician.

Additional Resources

CDC head lice treatment

CDC head lice info

 

 

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