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Head Lice Information

Head lice Information for Parents

Recent research shows the most common places a child may get head lice is during a sleepover, from family members, or other people in the same household. Lice are transmitted primarily from head-to-head contact. Time with friends and family in other households frequently occurs during our school breaks. 

Please read all the information below to help prevent head lice in our schools.


What should I know about head lice? 

  • Head lice do not transmit disease

  • Head lice primarily transfer from head to head contact

  • Transmission from hats, combs, pillows, etc. is possible but less likely 

  • Lice cannot fly or jump; they cling to the hair and can only crawl.

  • Lice cannot live more than 24-48 hours off a host

  • Hatched eggs or nits may remain on the hair but do not produce more lice


How do I check my child for head lice?

Using a comb or fingers, separate hair into small sections to look over their entire head for live lice. 

  • Lice are tiny (2-3mm long)

  • They vary in color from tan to grayish-white

  • Mature lice lay eggs (nits) on the hair shaft next to the scalp.

  • The eggs take 8-12 days to hatch

  • Newly hatched lice will mature over 9-12 days


What is the school policy for head lice? 

  • Students must have a head lice treatment before returning to school

  • Parents/guardians should bring their student to the school nurse after a treatment to be rechecked before they can return to class

  • Students must be free of live bugs to attend school


How do I treat head lice? 

  • Combing with a nit comb daily

  • Use an over the counter lice shampoo: Read instructions carefully

  • A second shampoo treatment may be required in about 10 days; not all over-the-counter treatments kill the eggs

  • Prescription lice shampoos may be obtained from a physician if live lice persist.

  • Other treatments such as mayonnaise, margarine, herbal oils, and olive oil are not backed by evidence-based research


What else can help with getting rid of head lice?

  • All family or household members should be checked for head lice.

  • Anyone in household with live lice should be treated at the same time as the student

  • Bedding, towels, stuffed animals, pillows, and clothing that has been in close contact with those with head lice should be washed and dried in a dryer with high heat 

  • Comb, brushes, and hair accessories used by those with head lice should be rinsed in hot water every day until lice are eliminated

  • Vacuuming floors is recommended