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Shawnee Public Schools


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Head Lice Control Measures Tip Sheet



 1. Examine the hair and scalp of EVERYONE in the household. Advise parents of close playmates and friends to examine children for head lice. Advise frequent visitors or persons whom the infested person has recently visited to be examined also.

2. When using a head louse shampoo, be sure to follow instructions exactly. DO NOT over treat. Wear gloves when treating more than one person with head louse shampoo. If more than two treatments are required to control an infestation, talk to your physician, School Nurse(s) or the Health Department about alternative methods.

3. Do not use products that coat the egg sacs, such as vegetable oil or mayonnaise, etc. Such measures may destroy living lice, but will protect the eggs from treatment efforts and they will later hatch, causing a re-infestation.

4. Petroleum products such as kerosene and gasoline, and insecticides such as ant, roach and insect poisons are dangerous. Pet shampoos are not made for people. DO NOT use these products.

5. After treating the infested person’s hair, blow dry. Wrap the hair in a damp towel soaked in vinegar for at least 15 minutes. This can help loosen the nits from the hair shafts.

6. Follow combing instructions exactly. Be sure to set the comb deeply into the strand of hair as close to the scalp as possible, and clean louse eggs off the comb AFTER EACH STROKE.

7. REMOVE EVERY NIT. Do not depend on the shampoo to do a complete kill. The best head louse shampoos kill only 80% of the nits. The only 100% SURE CURE for louse infestation is the removal of all eggs.

8. Adult head lice can survive off the human scalp for up to two days. Create a louse-free environment. For at least one week, clean or vacuum all places people lay their heads, including sofas, chairs, and even the car seats DAILY. Be sure to take the vacuum cleaner OUTSIDE to empty or change the bag DAILY. Do not reuse any bags used to store the non-washable items. ALLOW enough time for the hot water tank to reheat water to 130°F between laundry loads. Avoid using insecticide household spray. It is not effective and may cause respiratory distress in children and pets.

9. Examine the hair of every household member and remove all nits DAILY. If combs, brushes and items such as headphones must be shared, examine and clean them between users.

10. Do not try on caps and scarves at the store prior to purchasing them. If you wish to buy them, do so and run them through a hot dryer or store them for 14 days before use.

11.  Lice Do Not jump, hop or fly.  They do not come from dogs or cats.