There has been a recent outbreak of head lice and I would like to remind you how to detect and treat these creatures. School Nurses do not check for head lice. This practice was phased out in the early 1980’s! Young people and their parents/carers are encouraged to check their hair and to treat appropriately.
Adult lice are usually pale in colour, the size of a sesame seed and live very close to the scalp. They have six legs and walk from one person to another when there is head to head contact.
Eggs are cream/brown in colour and the size of a sugar grain.
Nits are empty cases, white in colour and stick to the hair.
Head lice do not cause any serious health problems, but if left untreated the lice will cause the scalp to itch and the lice may be passed on to other people.
Head lice infection is present if an actual living, moving louse is found.
Twice weekly combing with a nit comb will help to prevent infestation developing.
Comb your hair in the normal way every day and follow the wet combing method twice a week.
Wash hair and leave wet, but not dripping;
Massage a generous amount of conditioner into the hair;
Comb hair to get rid of any tangles;
Use a nit comb to comb through the hair in sections;
Comb from the roots, ensuring that the comb touches the scalp to hair end;
Any lice found should be removed after each stroke of the comb by wiping the comb on a clean tissue;
Finish combing and rinse hair;
Dry hair in the normal way.
It is important to repeat the wet combing method twice a week, as head lice are able to breed once they are a week old. Head lice can live for 40 days and will lay up to 8 eggs per night. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me or you may find the following website helpful www.nhs.uk/conditions/head-lice