Lice Prevention

The PTA pays for regular lice screenings several times a year. If a child is found with lice or nits, parents are contacted and informed accordingly. Children with live bugs must be picked up immediately. In accordance with DOE policy, children with nits have the option to stay in school until regular dismissal.

If you were recently told that a student in your class has lice, PLEASE don’t panic. Students with lice are sent home for treatment and both children with live bugs and with nits are rechecked by our lice treatment consultants before being allowed back in the class.

If your child has nits, please be proactive and remove them before they hatch; nits eventually become lice. Any child sent home with nits will be rechecked by a lice treatment technician to ensure that no eggs have hatched before they are allowed back in the classroom. Remember, it’s always best to stay ahead of the lice. For more information, please read the attached letters from the from the Office of School Health:
Pediculosis Fact Sheet; Facts about Head Lice; Suggestions and Remedies

Ways to Help Prevent the Spread of Head Lice

  1. Students with shoulder-length hair should wear it braided, pulled back, or “up” in some manner.

  2. Brush or comb hair daily.

  3. Hats and scarves should be washed frequently.

  4. Remind your child not to share hats, scarves, brushes, combs, or any kind of headgear.

  5. Notify parents of children your child may have played with frequently, or had a sleepover with if your child gets a case of lice.

  6. Please notify your classroom teacher if you find head lice or nits on your child.

  7. Lice prevention shampoos and products are available in local drug stores and childrens' hair salons.  

Facts About Head Lice
  1. Head lice are tiny, wingless bugs that live on human blood. They are spread by physical contact or shared personal articles like hats or hairbrushes.

  2. Head lice do not jump or fly or live on pets, and they do not discriminate, not by age group, area, or economics.

  3. Having a case of head lice is just a matter of bad luck; no different than catching strep throat or any other contagious illness, and millions of school and camp children are infested every year.

  4. Identifying head lice can be difficult. The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, moves quickly, and often takes on the color of the child’s hair.

  5. Nits are oval in shape, translucent brown or grayish white and stick tightly to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Often they are found at the nape of the neck, and above and behind the ears. They feel like tiny grains of rice and cannot be flicked off like dirt or dandruff.

  6. Lice can only survive on human hosts; those that get onto furniture or clothing are probably already dying. You don’t need to turn your apartment upside down if someone in your family gets lice.

To Find Lice and Nits

Head scratching and itchy scalp are the most obvious signs and symptoms. You may find small scabs on your child’s scalp from persistent scratching. If you’re unsure of what you are finding, please see informational brochures from our lice technician provider, Lice Treatment Center, outside the PTA office.

  1. Use a bright light or direct sunlight and a magnifying glass.

  2. Part and examine the hair thoroughly, section by small section.

  3. Pay particular attention to the crown, nape of the neck, and above and behind the ears.    

What to Do if Your Child Has Head Lice or Nits

  1. Notify your classroom teacher.

  2. Contact a professional lice remover (the PTA uses Lice Treatment Center with good results-- or 888-532-3292)

  3. If you're going to treat the lice yourself:

    • Purchase a natural lice-killing shampoo. You may wish to ask your pediatrician which product to use.

    • Follow the directions on the container carefully.

  4. Nits must be combed out with a metal nit comb.

    • Dip the comb in Pantene hair conditioner, then in baking soda and comb the hair while it is still wet, section by section, from the scalp down to the end of the hair.

    • Wipe the comb off and repeat the process.

    • After doing this, you must then go through the hair again and remove any remaining nits by hand.

    • Damaged or dead nits look very much like live, viable nits so you need to make sure they’re all gone.

  5. Whether the lice are treated by you or a professional, you’re not done yet!

    • Soak all combs, brushes, barrettes, etc., in hot water and lice shampoo for 20 minutes.

    • Heat kills lice and nits so machine wash, dry-clean or place hats, coats, scarves, other clothes or bedding that have been used within the last 2-3 days in a hot clothes dryer for 20 minutes.

    • Adult lice can survive for only 48-55 hours at room temperature.

    • Items that cannot be laundered, such as stuffed animals, can be well vacuumed or sealed in plastic bags for 2 weeks. Furniture and car seats can also be vacuumed.

  6. All family members should be checked daily for 2 weeks and treated if lice or nits are found.