Lice Information For The Educational Sector
The best time to talk about head lice is before there is an outbreak in the school
Be ready at the beginning of school year, when no one is in a state of crisis. Schools have been dealing with head lice for decades and most have a procedure for dealing with outbreaks. Find out what your school’s procedure is in order to be prepared when and if the time comes to use it.
The time will likely come. With 6-12 million cases of head lice estimated to occur each year, odds are that you’ll be dealing with the little bugs at your school. Understanding how you can work with school officials can make it easier.
When the time comes
If you find head lice in your class, by all means contact the school nurse or the appropriate school official. The reality is that the more quickly the school and other parents are informed, the less severe the outbreak will be.
If you are contacting parents about lice in your class, remember they may “shoot the messenger.” The earlier you can act the better and most of the time they are happy to help you deal with the situation
Handle with care
Children simply need to be more careful with their hair when dealing with lice. Once you comb out the live lice, there is little risk of spreading lice to others. Nits don’t spread. Long hair should be pulled back. Hats, brushes and clothes that touch hair should not be shared.
We believe in an “honesty is the best policy” about head lice, especially in schools. There is a tendency for parents to “blame and shame” one another, which really isn’t necessary. No one did anything wrong. Teachers, unfortunately, are often stuck in the middle and that’s not fair. If everyone was honest about when and where they find head lice in their families, everyone’s life would be a little easier.