Head lice are a common community problem. An estimate of 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States, mostly among children ages 3 to 11. Head lice are most commonly seen at the beginning of the school year and after winter and spring vacations.
Head lice are spread by direct head to head contact during play at home or school, slumber parties, sports activities or camp. Head lice move by crawling. Head lice cannot jump or fly. Head lice cannot survive for very long off the head. Therefore it is not common for head lice to spread by contact with items such as clothing, hats scarves, coats or other personal items such as combs, brushes or towels. The presence of head lice is not related to personal cleanliness. In fact, head lice often infest people with good hygiene and grooming habits.
We maintain continuous classroom surveillance for signs of head lice, although only one in ten infestations is actually acquired in school. Suspect cases are referred to our School Nurse for verification. A confirmed case usually results in screening of the student’s siblings, friends or close contacts.
We are asking for your assistance with this community problem by screening your family members once a week, every week, making it part of your family’s routine.
If someone in your family has head lice, please contact our School Nurse, Sara Mayo, for information and treatment options. Early detection is our best prevention. Let’s work together to control this problem.