Unfortunately there has been an outbreak of head lice in your child’s class and your child may have caught head lice. There is no reason for alarm – head lice have nothing to do with cleanliness, in fact head lice prefer clean to dirty hair. Anyone can get head lice but it is particularly easy for young people to catch them as they spread by direct head to head contact.
Head lice can spread quickly so it is important to check every member of your family. The most common sign is itching at the back of the neck, so check for tiny white egg shells (nits) on the hair near the scalp, at the back of the neck behind the ears.
Head lice need warmth to survive and so tend to lay eggs at the base of the hair, close to the warm scalp. The average infected head has about ten lice. They hatch within a week and if left unchecked or untreated, increase in number quickly. By following the steps below you can take care of the problem.
- Treat any family member with head lice at once
- Treatment for head lice comes in lotions or shampoos that are available from your local pharmacy.
- Crème rinses or lotions stay on the hair like a conditioner and are very effective in killing lice. Fast acting crème rinses that are quick and easy to use do not sting or burn are available.
- Your local pharmacist will suggest a suitable treatment.
- Once you have treated and cleaned your child’s head lice you should remember the following:
- Use a fine comb to carefully check your child’s hair every time their hair is washed ( a free comb is provided with some head lice products).
- Encourage your child not to use other people’s combs or brushes.
- Head lice is a community problem, it is nothing to be embarrassed about. We can all help to keep the problem under control. Thank you for your prompt attention