Head Lice

Head lice are small parasitic insects that live in the scalp and neck hairs of their human hosts, most commonly children between the ages of 3 and 12. Lice cannot hop or fly, they crawl! Transmission is most commonly caused by direct contact with another infested individual. Diagnosis is made by inspection of the head and scalp, finding live louse or nits (eggs), especially at the nape of the neck or behind the ears. Not to be confused with dandruff, nits are securely attached to the hair shaft. Treatment is primarily with a lice specific shampoo and removal of all nits by thorough combing. Any surface which may have come in contact with the individual’s head should be cleaned as well. (Car seats, couch, bed linens, pillows, towels, hats, scarves, combs, brushes, stuffed animals and floor rugs or carpets).

As it is probably impossible to totally prevent head lice infestations, children should be taught not to share items which could potentially transport lice from one head to another. At the start of each school year, and periodically there after, parents should inspect their child’s head and scalp. Parents should be alert for signs and symptoms such as itching and scratching of the head and evidence of debris in the hair, close to the scalp. Children will only be screened in school upon evidence of symptoms, request by a parent or teacher, or identification of another case of lice in the class or grade level.

Please notify the school nurse of any case of head lice so other students who may have come in contact with your child can be checked.

Also, please be sure to notify the parents of children your child may have been in close contact with over the few weeks prior to discovery of lice or nits in your child’s hair.

Should you require any additional information regarding lice protocol, contact the school nurse.

For additional information about Head Lice:

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services 



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