It’s back to school time, and that means kids across the country are going to get head lice. In fact, lice removal clinics tend to be busiest in August and September. Before school starts is a great time to familiarize yourself with your school’s policy on head lice, and learn how to prevent head lice infestations. Here are three keys to head lice prevention as school starts back up.
Back to School Head lice prevention tips
- Educate yourself and your children about head lice.
There is an extensive list of myths about head lice out there, so make sure you know the facts. For example, lice can’t fly, hop or jump. They don’t care if hair is clean or dirty. Lice can’t live on pets—only the human scalp. Lice are spread most commonly by head-to-head contact, so ask your kids to avoid that type of contact.
- Do weekly checks.
Whether you check yourself or visit a lice removal clinic, the sooner you find signs of head lice, the easier it is to treat. Some signs to watch out for are an itchy scalp, small rash around the hairline/behind the ears and white or tan specks in the hair that differ from dandruff. Check your child’s hair once a week after it has been washed and is still damp. You may want to use a nit comb, bright light, and magnifying glass to help you spot the tiny nits. You can also come to a Fresh Heads location for a thorough head lice check.
- Keep long hair tied up.
If your child has long hair, it’s helpful to keep it tied up. Styling long hair in a ponytail, braid or bun can help keep hair from coming into contact with head lice.
Head lice policies for Jacksonville area school districts
Students with nits will be excluded from school until they are nit-free. All children excluded from school due to head lice and/or nits must be accompanied by a parent or an adult before they will be allowed to return to school or ride the school bus. It is suggested to seek professional help from a lice removal clinic right away to help your children return to school sooner.
In St. John’s County Public Schools, all students infected with head lice will not be allowed back into school until all signs of lice and nits are gone. Readmission to school requires an examination by trained personnel, designated by the school principal, to determine if the student may return to school.
Students need to be free of nits before re-entry into school after treatment. Parents of Elementary school-aged children are required to accompany their children to school on the first day of entry after treatment. All children should be back to school within two days if treated properly.
If your child comes home from school with a suspected case of head lice, visit Fresh Heads Lice Treatment Centers for a thorough head check. If we discover lice, we can provide you with several treatment options. For more information on how to prevent head lice, visit our blog.