Lets Work Together!
- Learn about head lice. And discover how to detect them
- Reduce anxiety about head lice.
What you can expect from the school:
- Advise parents on the nature of head lice infestations and the means of controlling them.
- If staff suspect that a child has head lice, we will ask parents to assess the child A.S.A.P. and confirm whether or not there is a head lice infestation
- Individual reports will be kept confidential.
- We will refer families to the School Nurse for further support, if required.
- Staff are vigilant for un-treated/persistent cases of head lice
- Children will not be excluded because of head lice. We feel such measures are extreme and unjustifiable, except possibly as a last resort, and in very exceptional circumstances.
- Arrange the school nurse to deliver a information sharing meeting if required
What we expect from parents/carers:
- Check for headlice on a weekly basis (ideally by wet combing)
- Please check both boys and girls hair!
- If live lice are discovered, treat the infestation as soon as possible.
- Treat your child and all family members
What are Headlice?
A head louse is a tiny, wingless insect that can attach itself to a person’s hair, where it feeds on extremely small amounts of blood from the scalp. They can only move to another head by crawling from hair to hair when the heads physically touch. Head lice lay eggs around the roots and on the hair – it is the eggs that are more commonly seen in children than the lice.
- Head lice have nothing to do with cleanliness. Anyone can have lice. Lice love everyone!
- If a person is carrying 20 lice, those lice could lay 2,652 eggs during their reproductive life.
- The eggs take 7 to 10 days to hatch.
- “Nits” are the empty egg of a head louse after hatching.
- “Nymphs” are immature head lice, reaching maturity between 7-13 days. Before this they are unable to lay eggs, or move to another head.
- They can live for up to 40 days.
- Lice are programmed to want to move to another head and can move quickly when disturbed – a louse can travel up to 23cm in a minute.
- They cannot jump, swim or fly. The can only crawl from head to head, so they are not quite the all action heroes we might think.!
- Head lice only live on human beings, not on other animals.
There are various solutions available to parents.
One way to treat Headlice is to use insecticidal lotion or liquid which are available at Chemists (most GP’s will give you a prescription for Headlice treatment). Lice are killed during two applications of the lotion a week apart (remember you will need two doses of the lotion!)
If you prefer not to use insecticide based lotions, you can use the Wet Combing method, which is gentler for children.
This is where you cover the hair in conditioner and then using a plastic nit comb, physically remove all Headlice by combing them out. This treatment should be repeated every 2 days until no more Headlice are detected.
Talk to Your Child
Children can find having Headlice a traumatic experience. Physically it can be very itchy, uncomfortable and in some cases, cause an allergic reaction. Emotionally children can feel embarrassed, ashamed and ‘dirty’.
It is important for you to talk to your child about Headlice and how they love everyones hair! It is not a sign of being unclean. And it is unfortunately, very common.