20 Feb How School Administrators Can Manage Head Lice Outbreaks
As a school administrator, you have high expectations from students, parents, staff and the community. Therefore, if there’s a lice outbreak in your school, it’s normal to feel the pressure. How did this happen? Does this mean your school is dirty? Are you sending students home? Unfortunately, many of the myths regarding head lice do more harm than good.
The good news is that you can educate students, parents and staff on head lice. Not only will this avoid widespread panic, but it can also change the life of a student who doesn’t know where to turn for help.
Common head lice myths
Below are the most common head lice myths and why they are not true. Share this information with your students, parents and staff through email, text or newsletter. The more people know the truths about head lice, the easier it will be to identify and treat outbreaks.
It’s a myth that head lice:
- Are a result of being unclean. Lice have nothing to do with a clean person or home. Anyone who has hair can get lice. In fact, lice prefer clean hair because it’s easiest to climb on.
- Can run, jump or fly. Lice can only crawl from one head to the next, which is why head-to-head contact is the main method of transmission. However, lice are extremely fast and efficient crawlers so it only takes seconds for them to spread.
- Survive off a host. Lice can generally survive off a host for 24 hours. This is why transmission through hats, combs, hair accessories, etc. is quite low. It’s best not to share these items, especially during times of outbreak, but lice are not likely to survive on them for long.
- Transmit infections. Head lice are not the same as body lice. While a nuisance, head lice do not spread disease or infection. This is why they are not considered a public health hazard.
Head lice and school policies
Schools have different policies on when students can return to their classroom after having lice. That said, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a healthy child should not be restricted from attending school because of head lice. They suggest discontinuing no-nit policies.
Under this policy, a student with lice should finish out the school day, get treatment and then return to school. Luckily, there are many quick, effective ways that students can receive treatment. For example, parents can order a head lice treatment kit online from a company like My Hair Helpers, or they can schedule an appointment for lice treatment through a local head lice salon.
My Hair Helpers serves Southern California. We have in-salon appointments, or we can come to the child’s home or school for treatment. This way, Mom and Dad don’t have to miss work, and the child doesn’t have to miss school.
Schedule routine school lice checks
If head lice seem to be a persistent problem in your school, you can take things a step further by scheduling a school lice check and removal service. My Hair Helpers will send out a highly trained lice technician to perform lice checks on each student.
If any student turns up positive for lice, we can treat them on the spot. We can also talk to families and educate them on how to stay lice free. For parents who want to treat their children at home, we can send the kits home with the students.
All of My Hair Helpers products are made from safe, non-toxic ingredients. They are guaranteed to work and keep your school lice free. To learn more about our school lice check and removal services, contact us today!