Montgomery Township School District
Health OfficesTreadment of Head Lice(Information from the CDC website)
What are the signs and symptoms of head lice?
- Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
- Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites.
- Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected.
“The most important step in treating a head lice infestations is to treat the person and other family members with head lice with medication to kill the lice. Wash clothing and bedding worn or used by the infested person in the 2-day period just before treatment is started.”How do I treat for head lice?Treat the infested person: Requires using an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. Follow these treatment steps:
1. Before applying treatment, remove all clothing from the waist up.
2. Apply lice medicine, also called pediculicide (peh-DICK-you-luh-side), according to label instructions. If your child has extra long hair (longer than shoulder length), you may need to use a second bottle. Pay special attention to instructions on the bottle regarding how long the medication should be left on and whether rinsing the hair is recommended after treatment.
WARNING: Do not use a creme rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before using lice medicine. Do not re-wash hair for 1-2 days after treatment.
3. Have the infested person put on clean clothing after treatment.
4. If a few live lice are still found 8-12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not retreat. Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair. The medicine may take longer to kill lice.
5. If, after 8-12 hours of treatment, no dead lice are found and lice seem as active as before, the medicine may not be working. See your health care provider for a different medication; follow treatment directions.
6. Nit (head lice egg) combs, often found in lice medicine packages, should be used to comb nits and lice from the hair shaft. Many flea combs made for cats and dogs are also effective.
7. After treatment, check hair and comb with a nit comb to remove nits and lice every 2-3 days. Continue to check for 2-3 weeks until you are sure all lice and nits are gone
8. If using OTC pediculicides, retreat in 7-10 days.
Treat the Household
1. To kill lice and nits, machine-wash all washable clothing and bed linens that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment. Use the hot water (130°F) cycle. Dry laundry using high heat for at least 20 minutes.
2. Dry clean clothing that is not washable, (coats, hats, scarves, etc.).
Store all clothing, stuffed animals, comforters, etc., that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned into a plastic bag; seal for 2 weeks.
3. Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol, Lysol*, or wash with soap and hot (130°F) water.
4. Vacuum the floor and furniture. The risk of getting re-infested from a louse that has fallen onto a carpet or sofa is very small. Don't spend a lot of time on this. Just vacuum the places where the infested person usually sits or lays. Do not use fumigant sprays; they can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin
Prevent Reinfestation: Lice are most commonly spread directly by head-to-head contact and much less frequently by lice that have crawled onto clothing or belongings. As a short-term measure to control a head lice outbreak in a community, school, or camp, you can teach children to avoid playtime and other activities that are likely to spread lice.
- Avoid head-to-head contact common during play at school and at home (sports activities, on a playground, slumber parties, at camp).
- Do not share clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons.
- Do not share infested combs, brushes, or towels.
- Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
This information is what you need to know to deal with the situation. If you have time please read the remainder of the information on the CDC website. With your cooperation the situation should not get out of hand. In advance, thank-you for your cooperation.