Gig Mill Primary School

Tel: 01384 818600

Advice for Headlice

A case of headlice has been reported in your child's class.  To prevent further escalation of the problem, the following information may be of use;

Information provided by the Dudley Priority Health on Head Lice

Headlice are primarily a problem of the whole community and are not the responsiblity of schools. It is each parent's/carer's responsiblity to check their family's hair regularly for headlice.

What are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny insects that live on human hair.  They feed from the scalp by sucking blood. They use hair to help them move, to protect them from light and cold, and as a place to lay their eggs. When lice lay their eggs, they glue them to the strands of hair do they cannot easily be dislodged. Headlice cannot survive away from the scalp.

What do Head Lice look like?

Eggs: are the size of a pin head. Eggs that have hatched are snow white; they remain attached to the hair shaft and grow out with the hair.

Lice: can grow to the size of a match head and are grey or brown - they blend in with the colour of the hair. They are difficult to detect, even under close examination and do not always cause itching.

How do you catch Head Lice?
Head lice are spread only by direct contact. They do not fly or jump. When heads touch, the lice simply grip on to a strand of hair with their claws and move from one head to another. They can move very fast when necessary.

Detection of Head Lice

Wash the hair and liberally apply conditioner. While the conditioner is still on the hair, the hair should be combed through with a fine tooth comb (available from chemists)

Comb the hair through in small sections starting at the root, slot the teeth of the comb into the hair against the scalp.

Observe the comb after each stroke.

Continue to comb through the hair in sections until the whole head has been combed.

During combing, eggs may be observed as grey/white specks similar in appearance to dandruff. These will not easily be removed by combing and may require removal by the hand by grasping the shell between the thumb and forefinger and drawing it along the hair strand.

It is important that all close contacts are made aware of the importance of checking for lice in this way and that with early detection the unsafe use of chemical preparations is avoided.

Management of Head Lice
If any head lice are found, the wet combing method is also the recommended management.
The comb should be inspected and cleaned between each stroke.
This routine should be repeated every three/four days for three weeks, so that any lice emerging from the eggs can be removed before they spread.
At the end of the three weeks if no head lice are present the parents should return to routinely wet tooth combing their family's hair.
Chemical preparations should only be used in exceptional circumstances and after consultation with a health care professional. The wet tooth combing method should be used together with any chemical preparation either prescribed or purchased.
There is nothing wrong with having head lice, anyone within your community can have them. If you do get them it does not mean that you or your family are dirty. Further help and advice is available from school health advisors, health visitors, pharmacists and G.P.'s
Further information is available from Stourbridge health and Social Care Centre Tel: 01384 323770 

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