Don't bug out!
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You do not need to bug out!
We realize head lice is the last thing you want to be dealing with in your classroom, but rest assured you do not have to disrupt the entire class or worry that you may now have lice too.
Inform all parents/caregivers
Many times teachers are the first to find head lice on a student. Depending on your schools head lice policy you may have to send the child home for the rest of the day. Send all students home with a letter to inform parents/caregivers to check they're children's heads.
Below is a sample note to send home to parents. This will go over everything they need know so they don't bug out. You can also let them know that professional services may be in their area and in many cases can book an appointment that same day.
You'll be happy to hear that head lice do not live in the environment
and classrooms themselves pose no risk for transferring head lice.
For peace of mind we recommend:
Wipe down chairs
Vacuuming carpets and rugs
That's it. Relax!
If you are worried that one of the children in your classroom has lice, simply tie your hair back, spray with mint spray and keep a lint roller handy. For those affectionate kids who love to hug, simply lint roll your shirt after their squeeze.
You do not have to bag anything in your room, nor do you have to replace anything including carpets. Fumigating the classroom or building is also unnecessary. These are myths and do not help in ridding any child in your class of head lice. It is most important to make sure all members of the child's family are checked and those that have it are treated.
Lice cannot hop, jump or fly and in most cases only transfer from direct head to head contact.
Animal lice and head lice are different. We cannot give lice to our pets and they cannot give it to us.
Lice die off the head within 24 hours.
Not everyone itches, but for those who do, itching can last up to two weeks
Eggs are not contagious
All eggs must be removed
Mayonnaise, Olive Oil, Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly
These products are used in hopes of suffocating head lice. Head lice are able to shut down their bodies for long periods of time even fully submerged in substances meant to kill them. These products may suffocate the bugs if used for hours on end, but they do not kill the eggs.
Cetaphil also known as the Nuvo method
This dry on suffocation method was created by a dermatologist who has unfortunately admitted that this method was nothing more than a get rich scheme. Originally dubbed as the Nuvo method and charged $284 for the lotion, it was actually the Cetaphil face cleanser. Check out our "studies" section for the articles documenting this deception.
Apple vinegar, white vinegar, Coca Cola
It is assumed that these products help dissolve the glue that holds the eggs to the hair shalft. This glue make up is similar to human hair. Substances found to dissolve the glue also dissolve the hair. These products are not only ineffective, they leave the hair feeling like straw.
Spraying the house down and bagging everything for weeks
False! Lice sprays are money wasting gimmicks as head lice do not live in the environment. Because head lice is mistakenly grouped in with body lice in their stigma of hygiene and often times research: many believe that because body lice lay eggs in clothing and survive for days away from a human host that bagging items will help kill head lice and their eggs. A louse found off the head is usually injured or dying.
You know when you contact head lice right away
False! Head lice symptoms can take 24 hours to 4 weeks to show up. Some people are asymptomatic meaning they never develop symptoms. Most case of head lice are not discovered until 3-5 weeks later.
Eggs more than a quarter inch off the scalp are dead
False! Because there is no way to know when an egg was laid without looking under a microscope you do not know when eggs will or will not hatch. To remove to risk of eggs hatching and starting the life cycle over again, all eggs must be removed.