- The parent/guardian has the ultimate responsibility to ensure their child is free of live lice and viable (live) nits. The parent/guardian is responsible for the care of their child's scalp and hair.
- The parent should carefully check their child's scalp and hair once each week. Many people think that itching is a good indicator of evidence of lice. However, the first infestation may produce NO sign or symptoms for 4-6 weeks!
- Remember that children may get head lice if they are in sustained head to head contact. Sleepovers among friends and relatives are a common way they are passed from home to home.
- Avoid indirect head-to-head contact. Although not a common source of transmission, avoid sharing articles such as hats, combs, brushes, and hair accessories.
- Parents are asked to inform the school if their child has head lice. Lice infestations are handled in a confidential manner.
- Consult with a nurse, pharmacist, or physician and purchase treatment. READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE STARTING TREATMENT.
- Check the scalp and hair of all members (including adults) of the immediate and extended households. Pay special attention to the crown of the head, behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. Treat only those with active infections. Notify other homes where your child spends extended periods of time (day care, child care provider, etc.).
- Consult your health care provider before treating young children and infants, if one is pregnant or nursing, if one has special health conditions.
- Treat with a medicated shampoo that is available at your pharmacy. Home remedies such as vinegar, mayonnaise or olive oil have not been proven effective. Never use kerosene!
- Do NOT use cream rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before using lice medicine. do NOT re-wash hair for 1-2 days after treatment.
- Remove eggs. This is the most important step to getting rid of lice. Use a bright light to examine the hair. Eggs must be removed daily by hand or fine-toothed "nit comb" or the eggs can hatch to cause reinfestation.
- After treatment and nit removal, clean the house. Launder all bedding towels and clothing. Non washables can be placed in a hot dryer for 20 minutes or dry-cleaned. Other items can be placed in a tightly sealed plastic bag and placed in the freezer over night. Vacuum carpets, chairs or cushions including car seats and headrests.
- Do NOT shave the head or cut the hair unless your child wants you to do so.
- Do NOT use lice sprays. This can be harmful.
- Do NOT use lice removal products to prevent lice.
- In order for the child to return to school, the student must have been treated and show no evidence of live lice.
- Upon return to school, the school nurse will inspect the hair and scalp. It is very beneficial if a parent or designated adult accompany the child.
- If using over-the-counter treatments, retreat in 7-10 days. If using the prescription drug malathion, retreat in 7-10 days only if crawling bugs are found.
Questions may be addressed to your school nurse.