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Headlice

 

Head lice are common. They can usually be cleared with treatment.

Some helpful websites.

 

http://patient.info/health/school-exclusion-times

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/head-lice/pages/introduction.aspx

http://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/directory/h/head-lice

http://www.bad.org.uk/for-the-public/patient-information-leaflets/head-lice 

 

Head lice and school.

It may surprise some people but children don't catch head lice from school, they catch lice from each other.

We have a regular head lice check/reminder on our school web site diary. If everyone followed this the incidence of head lice would be greatly reduced.

Unfortunately, some parents choose not to check their child’s hair and this is when lice can spread.

PLEASE check your child’s head for lice on a regular basis. If you need lotion to treat lice this can be obtained for free.

To get free lotion take your child to a chemist, if they detect a lice they will give you lotion to treat your child for free or contact the school nurse.

 

What are head lice and nits?

  • Head lice are tiny grey/brown insects. They are about the size of a sesame seed (the seeds on burger buns). Head lice cling to hairs but stay close to the scalp which they feed off. Head lice lay eggs which hatch after 7-10 days. It takes about 10 days for a newly hatched louse to grow into an adult and start to lay eggs.
  • Nits are the empty white eggshells which are left when the lice hatch. Nits look like dandruff but stick strongly to hair. Unlike dandruff, you cannot easily brush out nits.

 

Who gets head lice?

Head lice are common in children but can affect anyone of any age. They are not a sign of dirty hair or poor hygiene. Close hair-to-hair contact is usually needed to pass lice on. Head lice cannot jump or fly but walk from one head to another. They soon die when away from hair, and do not live in clothes, bedding, etc. Most head lice infections are caught from family or close friends who are not aware that they have head lice.

What are the problems with head lice?

Many people with head lice do not have any symptoms. An itchy scalp occurs in some cases. This is due to an allergy to the lice, not due to their biting. It often takes about three months for an itch to develop after you are infested with lice. Therefore, you may not notice that you have head lice for a while and you may have passed them on to others for some time. Head lice and nits do not wash off with normal shampoo. Head lice do not cause any other medical problems. The number of lice that may be on one person can vary greatly. However, commonly, there are fewer than 15 lice present.

How can you tell if you have head lice?

Head lice are difficult to find just by looking in the hair. If you suspect that your child (or you yourself) have head lice, it is best to do detection combing. Some people advise that you do this to children's hair regularly, about once a week.