The Borough's Public Health Nurse offers the following information about head lice:
If head lice are discovered on your child or on another child at his or her school, tthere is no cause for alarm. Head lice are fairly common among school-aged children. There are about 8 to 12 million cases each year nationwide.
Parental assistance is key to eliminating lice from our schools as soon as possible. Please use the checklist below to help us keep lice outbreaks under control:
- Check your child's head on a weekly basis (regardless of an outbreak)
- Girls with longer hair should keep their hair in a pony tail or bun.
- Tell your children to avoid head-to-head contact and any sharing or combs, hats, helmets, barrets or other personal items worn on the head.
- Provide your child with a hefty bag to store their jackets, hats and backpacks at school.
- Please contact the school nurse if you find lice or nits (eggs) on your child's head.
If Lice or Nits are found on your child's head and other family members they must be treated with a head lice product and it is extremely important to follow the directions carefully. After the hair has been washed with a lice product YOU MUST MANUALLY GO THROUGH THE CHILD'S HAIR AND REMOVE ANY REMAINING NITS! Nits are cemented to the hair shaft and shampooing alone does not remove them or necessarily kill the nymph inside. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU CONTINUE TO GO THROUGH YOUR CHILD'S HEAD ON A DAILY BASIS FOR AT LEAST 10 DAYS and remove any nits, and if the lice product you used requires another treatment within 7-14 days please proceed with a second treatment.
Treating the household is important as well. Head lice do not survive long if they fall off a person and cannot feed. You do not need to spend a lot of time or money on house cleaning. Follow these steps to help avoid reinfestation by lice that may have recently fallen off the hair or crawled onto clothing or furniture.
- Machine wash in hot water all washable clothing and bed linens that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment. You can also put items into the dryer on high heat for 20-30 minutes.
- Store stuffed animals, comforters, etc., that cannot be washed or dry cleaned into a plastic bag and seal for 2 weeks. Also vacuum sofas and rugs.
Your cooperation is extremely important in this matter. For additional information please do not hesitate to contact the Hawthorne Board of Health Department at (973) 427-4011 or you may go to www.cdc.gov and type in the keyword lice.