We have received many questions via email, phone and office visits regarding our unexpected visitors, lice. In an effort to provide as much information as possible and reduce anxiety about this itchy topic, I would like to share the following:
- We became aware of the lice outbreak at our school on Wednesday, January 27.
- If a child is found to have lice (school discovery or parent report), a notification letter is sent home that day with all students in that classroom.On Thursday, January 28, school personnel suspected head lice on another child. We contacted parents and with their approval checked this child.
- We then used our investigative skills to identify areas where the lice could spread. These areas led us to other children that may need to be checked. All parents were then contacted by phone before we checked their children.
Please know that my primary goals are to focus on facts about head lice and the dignity, respect and honor of the children. Because head lice creates an intense emotional reaction for parents, children and staff, it is very important that we handle this with sensitivity and normalcy…and a healthy dose of appropriate humor and lightness.
PREVENTION and EDUCATION are key. On a prior blog post, I shared TRUTHS and TREATMENT details. I received an email from Amy Steindler of LICE HAPPENS. She wanted us to also keep in mind the following:
- A live louse can only live about a day off a human head. They need those blood meals and the temperature and humidity of a human head—they have evolved and adapted for those specific conditions. We say that any louse found off a head is a dying louse—it’s just a matter of time.
- Lice off a head are unlikely to mate or lay eggs—they can barely get around anywhere except on a head, due to the specialization of their claws.
- Nits (eggs) are unlikely to survive as long as 10 days—even nits that are on a head have very little chance of hatching if they’re more than ½ inch from the scalp. Nymphs, the newly hatched critters, need to be very close to a scalp, as they need their first blood meal very soon after hatching.
I will keep you updated as we work to get rid of our unexpected visitors! Thank you for all you are doing to educate your children about prevention practices.
Your friendly principal and Lice Inspector General, Mrs. Reagan