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Notes from the Nurse - Nov. 2018

Notes from the Nurse - Nov. 2018
Posted on 11/05/2018
Head lice, a common occurrence in preschools and elementary schools has been present at Graham & Parks this year. Head lice are tiny insects that live on people's heads. Lice and nits (eggs) are found on or near the scalp, most often at the neckline and behind the ears.

Head lice crawl, but they cannot jump or fly. Transmission of a head louse from one person to another is often by direct contact. Therefore, transmission is usually within a family or among children who have close contact at school or play. Indirect transmission is not likely, but lice may spread from one person to another by items such as: hats and scarves, brushes and combs, hair accessories, headphones, pillows, upholstery and towels.

To prevent head lice from affecting you or your family members there are measures you can take.
–Primary prevention comes by avoiding direct contact with someone who has head lice or nits. Refraining from sharing personal items.
–Machine washing and drying (using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle) clothing, bed linens, and other items that the person wore or used, you can eliminate lice in your home. Items that are not washable can be dry–cleaned. They can also be sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
–Replace brushes and combs, or disinfect them by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the person sat or lay.

If you think your child exhibits symptoms of head lice, such as itching pf the scalp, examine your child’s head for lice and or nits. If crawling lice or nits are found, all household members should be examined for crawling lice and nits. Check every 2–3 days. Persons with live (crawling) lice or nits should be treated.

Pharmacological treatment and household cleaning are recommended for treatment. Treat using an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. A pharmacist or doctor can direct you towards the right product. Apply lice medicine (pediculicide) according to the instructions provided. If the person has long hair (longer than shoulder length), it may be necessary to use additional product. Pay special attention to instructions on the label or in the box in order to know how long the medication should be left on the hair, and how it should be washed out. Remember not to over treat the infected person. If you are concerned about doing a home treatment, Lice Happens and Nit Wits are two businesses in the Boston area that can help you and your family to become lice free.

Keep in mind that lice does not mean a person lives in a dirty home, or has poor hygiene. If your child, or their classmates have lice, treatment is accessible and available. Visit https://boston.licehappens.com or https://www.liceinfo.net for treatment rates, and more information about head lice.