Head Lice Screening

2015 Head Lice Screening at Capitol Hill Elementary School

As a preventive measure the Capitol Hill Elementary School through the PAC has successfully set up a Lice Screening committee made up of volunteer parents that come into the school to inspect each child’s hair for lice. There are 400 students in the school and we need a number of willing volunteers to be trained and help inspect each student’s hair for lice. It has been proven that schools that have parents that are well-informed and check their children’s hair regularly combined with the lice screening conducted at school greatly reduces the risk of head lice.

There were 6 cases of reported head lice in 2012, 11 cases in 2013 and 3 cases in 2014. This fall there are 2 reported cases. In order to set up a formal lice screening committee for this year to prevent any further spread, we need at least 12 parents to volunteer and receive training to help screen our children to prevent the further spread of head lice. It will only take 15 minutes to train and ¾ of a day to screen all 400 students.

If you are interested to volunteer, please email annandglen@gmail.com or capitolpac@gmail.com with the following information. No experience necessary. Training Provided.

Name ______________________________________

Day Phone # __________________________________

Evening phone # ________________________________

Email: __________________________________________

If you have any questions or concerns please email Glen Kent at the above email address. On behalf of the PAC we appreciate your cooperation and assistance.

Common Questions and Resources

Head Lice Q&A PDF
How to Get Rid of Head Lice PDF PDF

Q: How does a person get head lice?

  • A: Lice are spread by head-to-head contact and by sharing brushes, hats, or other clothing or items that come in contact with the head. Lice are common where children play or work closely together.

Q: What do you do if your child has head lice?

  • A: His/her teacher must be informed immediately so that the school can provide the parents the necessary literature and advice on beginning treatment as soon as possible. This information will remain confidential.
  • The child can continue to have contact with others for the remainder of the day. Children should not be excluded from the community or school due to head lice.
  • Information letters will be sent out to the classroom affected to notify parents to check their child’s hair.
  • If there are problems with the treatment, parents are encouraged to consult a public health nurse at 604-587-4600 for information and resources or access information on the following Fraser Health website http://www.fraserhealth.ca/your_health/school_health/head-lice/
  • Check the heads of all family members for lice and nits as they are easily spread. See the following Fraser Health website link on how to check for nits. http://www.fraserhealth.ca/media/ClassroomLiceLetter.pdf.
  • Treat all infested family members at the same time otherwise you may not rid your house of the lice and the infestation will continue despite the treatments given.
  • Clean all your bed sheets, clothes and items that may come in contact with the infected person.

Q: What can I do, and how can I help?

  • A: Keep long hair tied back when lice have been identified in your school
  • Teach your child to not share hats, brushes, helmets, hair barrettes and towels
  • Check your child for lice if he/she is scratching their head or if a friend/classmate has head lice. See the following Fraser Health website link on how to check for nits. Also check the heads of all family members for lice and nits as they are easily spread http://www.fraserhealth.ca/media/ClassroomLiceLetter.pdf.
  • Treat all infested family members at the same time otherwise you may not rid your house of the lice and the infestation will continue despite the treatments given.
  • Clean all your bed sheets, clothes and items that may come in contact with the infected person.

How to Get Rid of Head Lice: More details

Approaches to removal vary but all have to include manual removal of lice and their eggs to have complete success.

Pesticide base products are available these are applied as shampoos or lotions to the scalp, leaving them on for an instructed period of time, then thoroughly rinsing off. A second application 7 to 10 days follows. These products do not kill the nits (eggs) and you will still need to manually remove them with a high quality lice comb. Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully when using these products as they are potentially harmful pesticides and can have adverse effects.

Itching may continue even after all lice are destroyed. This happens because of a lingering allergic reaction to their bites. Over-the counter cortisone (corticosteroid) creams or Calamine lotion may help.

Your safest approach is an all-natural one.

Even if you chose to use a pesticide product to kill most of the live lice manual removal is necessary to address the eggs or they will continue to hatch.

The wet-combing method is designed on breaking up the life cycle of the louse by manually removing all live lice and their eggs. Lice that hatch after the first comb-out are removed with each following comb-out and long before they have a chance to reproduce and continue the lifecycle.

Wet Combing Instructions

Manual removal of lice and their nits is the safest method of removal and the most important step to clearing up a head lice infestation. Wet-Combing breaks up the reproductive cycle by combing out all lice, nymphs and nits before they have a chance to mature and reproduce. Head lice cannot become resistant to this treatment as no pesticides are used. Cut out the use of potentially dangerous pesticides when treating head lice. To ensure complete eradication of an infestation you have to do your nitpicking.

When getting started it is crucial you use a quality lice comb such as the LiceMeister®. Working with a durable lice comb will save you hours of nitpicking. Use a magnifying glass or we recommend the Head Lice Magnifying Visor to enable you to see the nits and have free hands to nitpick with. Also needed white hair conditioner, hair clips for separation, a de-tangling comb, pin tail comb, tweezers, a bowl of hot water to rinse the lice comb and white paper towels or rags.

It is helpful to find an area with bright lighting. Make sure the person be treated is comfortable.

Set up a activity for them as this process can be time consuming. Ensure you are also as comfortable as possible, raise the person up to a good working level for yourself. Nitpicking can be tedious work.

 

  1. Liberally apply conditioner on dry hair saturating all hair and scalp.
  2. Comb hair with de-tangling comb to remove all knots.
  3. Using the pin tail comb to separate the hair into four manageable sections, use the hair clips to hold section in place.
  4. Cleaning one section at a time. Undo first section, using your pin tail comb to take out a thin small section of hair starting at the bottom of the hair line. This hair will be combed out first. Clip back the hair you’re not working with.
  5. Position the teeth of the lice comb as close to the root of the hair shaft as possible, and then pull the comb through the full length of the hair, from the root to the tip. Inspect all sides of the small section of hair for nits or live lice. If any lice or nits remain use tweezers to pull off.
  6. Continue taking small section working your way up until all hair in section has been combed.  Rinse and wipe the comb after every pass.
  7. Continue combing through each section in the same manner when the section has been cleared clip back out of the way and continue till all four sections have been cleared.
  8. Once all sections have been combed out, remove the separation clips.
  9. Finish up by passing the lice comb through the entire thickness of hair working from the crown to the tip. If the comb is pulling add a spritz of water to re-moisten the hair. Make several passes combing around the entire head. Wipe the comb between passes on a paper towel or rag, thoroughly inspect for lice and nits.
  10. Rinse out the conditioner and style hair as usual.
  11. Soak all tools in hot soapy water, wash towels and rags in hot water and dry using hottest setting. A good quality comb like the LiceMeister® can be boiled for 1 minute to sterilize.

Follow these instructions every 3 days for two weeks or until you have successfully combed out twice without finding any evidence of lice and or nits.

 

Screen weekly for one month to confirm complete removal of all lice and their nits.

Keep in mind that head lice removal is a process there is no quick fix to eradicating these pesky critters but it can be done in a safe fashion.

 

Head Lice and your environment.

Head lice are not able to survive off their human host past 48 hours. They dehydrate at a very fast rate and die.  Focus your cleaning in the areas where the infested person has been in the last 2 days.

Cleaning or fumigating your entire home is not necessary. Homes don’t get head lice, people do!  Daily cleaning is not necessary. On the day you start treatment and remove the mature live lice then there are areas in your home and vehicle to clean. Vacuum any upholstered furniture, booster seats and car seats. Focus on areas where family members share the same space these are usually seating areas. Dry bedding and other items in a hot dryer for 30 minutes this will kill any live lice. Items that cannot be dried can simply be set aside for 48 hours if there is a live louse on the item it will dehydrate and die. Hair accessories, combs, brushed and lice combs can be easily cleaned with hot soapy water or not used for 48 hours.

 

To get rid of lice or nits from items like hats or pillowcases:

  • Wash the items in hot water and dry in a hot dryer for 15 min; or
  • Store the items in an airtight plastic bag for 2 weeks.

 

Children with head lice should be treated and can attend school or child care as usual.

‘No-nit’ policies that keep children with head lice away from school are not necessary because:

  • Head lice are common among young children.
  • Head lice don’t spread disease.
  • Cases of head lice are often misdiagnosed.
  • Children can have head lice for several weeks with no symptoms.

If your child has head lice, treat it. Teach your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other children until the lice are gone. Children should not share combs, hairbrushes, caps, hats or hair ornaments.

When it comes to head lice there are some basic things one needs to know.

First DON’T PANIC in the big scheme of things Head Lice is definitely manageable.

Head Lice Treatment is a process there is no one time treatment. Proper follow up is crucial!

The average infestation takes between two and three weeks to clear up.

Once the adult lice have been removed you should be back to your regular routine while you are finishing up the removal process.

Children should not miss school because of head lice.

Informing school , family and friends to be on lookout for lice is extremely beneficial.

The sooner you find head lice the easier treatment is.

Home don’t get head lice people do focus your energies on your nitpicking not your environment.

Remember any one can get head lice it is all in the timing.

(90% of the time it is head to head contact with someone who has an active infestation).