What are they?

They can’t fly or jump.
They have been recovered from prehistoric mummies.
They’re familiar today to many school-age children and their families.
Did you guess head lice?

Otherwise known as pediculosis capitus, head lice infestation is common in the United States among children 3-12 years of age. Head lice are not a health hazard, a sign of poor hygiene or responsible for the spread of any disease.  However, because young children come into head-to-head contact with each other frequently, it is possible for head lice to be transmitted from one person to another.  Routine head screening should be done in the home where privacy can be maintained and adequate lighting is available.   The most common symptom of head lice is itching.

In the Newton Public Schools, if a child is found to have head lice, the parents will be notified and treatment options will be discussed.  Re-entry to school will be allowed once the student receives treatment and is seen by the school nurse.

The school nurse will notify parents if a student in their child’s classroom has head lice.  This is an important reminder to check your child’s head regularly and teach your children not to share hats, scarves or personal hair care items. Parents should report cases of head lice to the school nurse.

The Head Lice Policy, with instructions for treatment, is available on the School Health website at http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/Health/school_health.htm

For more information, contact the school nurse or visit these websites: National Pediculosis Association at www.headlice.org and the Harvard School of Public Health at www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html

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