We have recently had confirmed cases of head lice within our program. Currently, the cases have been isolated to the preschool age group. However, many of our preschoolers have siblings in other areas, so we suggest that ALL of our parents be observant and aware regardless of what age group their child is in.
How head lice is transferred:
Close head-to-head contact is the primary way lice is spread from one child to another
Head lice can also be spread from sharing items such as combs, brushes, and hats
Head lice are crawling insects that do not fly or hop from head to head
Be observant of any excessive itching, specifically behind the ears or at the base of the neck
What to look for:
Head lice have cigar-shaped bodies with small indentations across their middles & are about the size of a sesame seed. Their bodies have dark & light areas which cause them to blend in with the color of hair.
Nits are the eggs of a female louse. A female louse can lay up to 10 nits per day, and it usually takes about 7-10 days for them to hatch into bugs.
How to check for head lice:
Seat your child in a well lit room where you can easily examine the head from different angles
Part the hair and look at your child’s scalp. Nits will look like small white or yellow-brown specks. They will be firmly attached to the hair. Nits may be easier to see at the hairline near the back of the neck or behind the ears. Live lice will move quickly away from the light.
Comb through your child’s hair in small sections using a fine-tooth comb. After each comb-through, wipe the comb on a wet paper towel. Examine the scalp, comb, and paper towel carefully.
If crawling lice and/or nits are found, all household member should be examined for crawling lice and nits every 2-3 days.
Treatment for head lice:
Step 1: Use a head lice treatment to kill the live bugs Step 2: Comb out the nits Step 3: Prevent lice from spreading by doing the following:
Wash your child’s clothes, towels, hats, and bed linens in hot water and dry on high heat
Soak combs and brushes in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes
Vacuum furniture, carpeting, car seats, and other fabrics your child was in contact with 24-48 hours before treatment
Items that can’t be washed, such as stuffed animals or toys, should be placed in a plastic bag and tied up for 2 weeks to ensure that any live lice would die.
Discovery's head lice policy
Children are not permitted to attend Discovery until they are bug AND nit free. Since nits are essentially "eggs" that hatch within 7-10 days after being laid, we have a no-nit policy to avoid excessive reoccurring episodes.