Lice Infestation

Lice are small wingless insects that live on human scalp and are spread through close person-to-person contact. A case of head lice can range in intensity from mild to heavy infestation. Lice infestation is a common problem for children ages 3 - 11. This article will provide schools and camps, with information and guidance regarding head lice infestations in an institutional setting. Principals, teachers, school nurses, school psychologists, Camp directors, counselors, playgroup directors and any other child care providers can use this information to determine lice prevention efforts and lice policy.

Schools and camps can control a lice infestation by taking the following preventative measures:

  • A proactive education program can provide a basic understanding of head lice, modes of transmission, prevention techniques, and the importance of safe and effective treatment.
  • Routine group screening and early detection for head lice and nits plays a pivotal role in head lice management. Instruct parents to examine their children frequently.
  • Assign individual cubbies to store caps and scarves separately, and wall hooks to store coats so that lice do not travel via clothing. Audio headsets and helmets should be cleaned with a damp cloth after each use.
  • Frequently vacuum carpeted or upholstered areas and wipe down mats with a damp cloth.
  • Bus drivers should wipe down school bus seats with a damp cloth or vacuum upholstered seats.

Lice infested children should be sent home with information about head lice, nit removal and treatment of the environment. When a case of head lice has been identified in a classroom, written notification should go out to all parents. Schools and camps faced with a lice infestation may decide to adopt the NPA (National Pediculosis Association) "No-Nit" standard. That means that a child cannot come to school or camp until all lice and lice eggs (nits) have been removed. After lice infestation treatment, the child should be inspected carefully to ensure all nits have been removed.

Licenders has initiated a "keep lice out of camp" or "K.L.O.O.C." campaign. The K.L.O.O.C. initiative offers camps the option of a mailing to parents regarding mandatory lice checks before boarding the camp bus. The campers will be screened FOR FREE in a Licenders salon in NY, CT, NJ or LI up to 5 days before camp-start date. Multiple clinicians will be available at the salon to move things along quickly. All campers with a Licenders 'lice-free' note can go straight to their bunks! KLOOC for $100 and get the option to hire Licenders for half price to come to your camp and screen the 'out of town' staff and campers.

In conclusion, each school, camp, or child care facility must decide on a head lice control policy. Informing children and parents about head lice is a very sensitive issue. Children and parents can become upset, embarrassed, and frustrated about head lice infestations. They need to be reassured that head lice are a common problem and are not related to cleanliness and hygiene.

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