What Parents Need to Know about Lice

Posted on by Chemin Chu

During the school year, especially in winter with increased indoor play time, it’s good to start checking your children regularly for lice. Because lice are always around in the community, experts recommend checking your children weekly for lice, especially young children who tend to play close together with other children. We suggest establishing a routine, such as after bath time, or every Sunday evening.

Although it is not possible to completely protect your child from getting lice, it is possible for parents to find lice early. Research shows that without regular checks, lice are often not discovered until three or four weeks after exposure. However, if parents regularly screen and find lice earlier, it makes treatment easier. I have included some basic facts about lice and how to screen your child. Remember, screens should be done weekly or any time you think your child may have been exposed.

Below are some important things to remember about lice:

  • Lice are always around in a community, including Yinghua Academy.  Just like a cold, someone always has lice. Research says usually 3-5% of students at any elementary school have lice. Although desirable, it is impossible for a community (or school) to be 100% lice free. 
  • Research shows that lice are rarely spread at school, only about 10% of the time. The most common places that a child may get lice are at a sleepover, from family members or other people in the same household, or when spending a lot of time with another child with lice, with their heads very close together. Occasionally, lice can travel from one child to another on hairbrushes, scrunchies and fuzzy hats.
  • Lice do not live off a child’s head for more than a few hours. So placeslike school, or houses, or even pets, do not spread lice. Only a person with lice can give lice to someone else.
  • If the school knows of a child with lice, the school nurse will help the family with the proper treatment. There are many different treatment options, including over-the-counter treatments and professional lice removal companies. You can also ask your doctor for recommendations.
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