Head Lice: Don’t let return to school BUG you!
At the beginning of each new school year, the nurses at Northeast Pediatrics receive panicked calls from parents asking about the identification and treatment of one of the most commonly shared bugs of school age children, Head Lice.
Here is the advice and reassurance that we provide parents:
- First and foremost, head lice are not dangerous; they do not transmit disease and they are not a sign of poor hygiene!
- Once given reassurance, we recommend that parents first confirm that head lice is the culprit and not dandruff before beginning treatment. While a live louse may not be present on the head, checking a child’s head behind the ear and at the nape of the neck may reveal nits (eggs) on the hair shaft near the scalp. While dandruff is larger, white, and can easily removed, nits may be smaller, feel like grains of sand stuck to the hair, and if seen may appear yellowish-white or gray.
- Treatment for head lice is a process that may take several weeks. It combines the killing of live lice and removal of nits through thorough (and daily) nit picking.
- Our office has some great resources for assisting parents through their first experience with head lice. We have print materials in our office as well as links to websites through our Information on the Internet tab on our website.
Remember, The most important activity in lice treatment is nit picking. If you do not pick nits regularly, nothing else you do will work!