Lice... unwanted but common

We’ve had a few reported cases of head lice at Riverdale Grade School and students have gone home for treatment.

Head lice are an occasional visitor and concern for elementary and middle school students. It is not unusual to find head lice in our school community at times throughout the school year. Getting head lice can happen to any child and is not a reason for panic or embarrassment. Having head lice is not associated with age, sex, race, social class or hygiene. 

Head lice are not considered a health hazard as they do not spread illness or disease, but can be a nuisance and cause a disruption at home and to your daily routine. Head lice are wingless insects that do not fly, hop or jump, but move and multiply very quickly.

Lice are spread through:

  • Direct head to head contact
  • Sharing hats, clothing or helmets
  • Sharing hair grooming articles and hair decorations or accessories

 

The most effective actions for preventing the spread of head lice are:

  • Routine weekly checking for head lice (about the size of a sesame seed) and nits, which are lice eggs (about the size of a poppy seed) and are attached to the hair shaft by a type of “insect super glue.” Neither lice nor nits can be blown off of hair or scalp.
  • If live lice are found, treat with an FDA approved pediculocide and comb for nits. Combing with a fine tooth metal comb is one of the most important steps to removing nits and preventing re-infestation of lice.
  • Teach your children not to share clothing, hats and helmets, grooming articles or hair accessories.

 

Riverdale School District policy calls for exclusion of students for live lice and for nits. If either are found, the student is sent home for treatment and will be rescreened before returning to the classroom until no evidence of lice or nits are present. 

MESD offers lice information and videos on its website. 

Please feel free to contact our school nurse for further information if you have questions.