Student Health Services » Head Lice

Head Lice

What to look for

1. When there is intense itching and scratching of the scalp and the back of the neck, look closely at the scalp for small, whitish eggs firmly attached to the hair shaft, especially at the nape of the neck and above the ears.  Although these eggs may look like dandruff, dandruff can easily be removed from the hair while the eggs cannot.
Lice and nits

What to do

1. Notify the school nurse if you confirm lice or eggs/nits.

2. If members of your family become infested, you may treat them with an over the counter pediculosis product from your drugstore, or you may contact your Health Care Provider for their recommendation.  Remember to read directions thoroughly on any product used.  Some products recommend another treatment in two weeks.

3. After treatment, the nits or eggs need to be removed from the hair.  There is a comb included in most treatment packages, but often, the easiest method of removal is using your nails and pulling the egg off of the hair shaft.  You should make sure you have plenty of light, positioning yourself by a window for ease of identification of the nit.  The nits, as shown in the picture above, look like a small tear drops and are "cemented" on the hair shaft with the tip of the tear toward the scalp.

4. Wash all personal clothing (including jackets and backpacks) and bedding (sheets, blankets, pillowcases) in hot water (at least 130 degrees F.) or by dry cleaning.  Vacuum the mattress.  We also recommend changing the pillowcase nightly for the following two weeks.

5. Thoroughly wash combs and brushes in hot water to disinfect.

6. Thoroughly vacuum furniture, rugs, and car interiors.

7. Place all stuffed toys in a plastic bag for two weeks.
Additional Information:
10 Steps to Prevent Lice from the National Pediculosis Association::