Facts about Lice
Please check your student’s hair periodically throughout the school year for the presence of lice. Sleep overs, dress up clothes, shared hair ties and brushes, etc., are all great ways to spread these pesky critters. Lice usually don't live past one day without feeding from a scalp, and eggs do not survive if they aren't incubated at the temperature near the scalp. Therefore, the chance of lice surviving on household items is small.
Transmission & Cleaning
Head lice crawl, but they cannot jump or fly. Most often transmission of a head louse from one person to another is by direct contact. Therefore, transmission is most often within family or among children who have close contact at play.
Indirect transmission is not likely, but lice may spread from one person to another by items such as:
- Hats and scarves
- Brushes and combs
- Hair accessories
Indirect transfer also could occur among items of clothing stored together. For example, hats or scarves hung on the same hook could serve as vehicles for transmitting lice. As a precaution, if you discover lice, you may clean items that the affected person has used in the last two days.
Cleaning recommendations include the following:
- Wash items in hot water.
- Wash bedding, stuffed animals and clothing in hot, soapy water — at least 130 F (54.4 C) — and dry at high heat.
- Clean hair care items. Clean combs, brushes and hair accessories in hot, soapy water.
- Seal items in plastic bags. Seal items that cannot be washed in plastic bags for two weeks.
- Vacuum. Give the floor and upholstered furniture a good vacuuming.