Eek! Lice at School!
Before you panic, know that head lice are relatively common and easy to treat. And it doesn’t mean your child has bad hygiene–good or bad hygiene has nothing to do with who gets head lice.
What are lice?
Lice are tiny wingless insects that feed on human blood. The most common type of lice, especially in children, is head lice. They live near the scalp and attach their eggs to strands hair. You can most often find them around the hairline and at the nape of the neck.
Head lice do not transmit any diseases to humans.
How did my child get lice?
The only way lice are spread is through direct contact with someone who has lice, or contact with something they touched. There is no airborne contagion like with a cold. Many school districts follow a “no-nit” policy, which means that a child with lice must be kept out of school until they no longer have any nits, or lice eggs, in their hair.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses both say that “no-nit” policies do more harm than good for children. Instead, they recommend that children be allowed to attend school as long as they’ve begun a lice-killing treatment. It’s more important for children to attend school as often as possible once they’re being treated.
How do I get rid of lice?
You can find lice remedies at your local Family Pharmacy, which can be applied topically to the scalp to kill lice over multiple treatments. It is not necessary to get a remedy that also kills lice eggs, as treatments are designed to kill most lice before they can reproduce a second time.
While you treat your child with the over-the-counter medicine, it’s a good idea to wash their sheets, jackets, clothes, hats, and other personal items in hot water. This will kill any lice which might be clinging on to them.
It’s not uncommon for kids to get lice, and it doesn’t mean that they’re dirtier than other children–it happens to everyone. Come in and talk with one of our pharmacists and we’ll help you get rid of head lice once and for all.