Lice and Nit  Lice
Note from the Nurse- Please give me a call if you suspect your child has lice or if you have discovered it and treated your child. Once treated, your child must be checked by the school nurse before returning to the classroom. It is not easy to see lice since they move quickly and hide from light. What I look for first are the nits (the eggs that lice lay), which indicates the problem. These are especially small and easy to see if you know what to look for. I have included photos to help you with this.  At the bottom of this page I have linked two good web sites:

Catching Head Lice

A live louse travels from one person to another, usually through head-to-head contact.

·       Bed sharing and sleepovers

·       Group selfies

They can also travel by:

  • Sharing combs, brushes and other hair care items with a person with live lice.
  • Wearing a hat, scarf, coat or other clothing item that has live lice on it.
  • Putting a head on upholstery that has live lice on it.
  • Piling coats, scarves, hats or other items that have live lice on them and then putting them in contact with the head.

Anyone can get head lice - children and adults!

Checking for Head Lice

When to

• Regularly.
• Whenever the head itches
• When it does not itch, especially if it is
possible to have come close to someone with head lice.

Who should be checked?

• Each person living in the household.
• Pets are not considered “people”. Pets do not get lice and do not spread lice.

Where to

• Where it itches.
• At the nape of the neck.
• Around and above the ears.
• At the crown of the head.
• Then through the entire head from top to bottom.

What to
look for:

• Live lice.
• Nits (lice eggs).

What do
lice look like?

• About the size of a sesame seed.
• Clear tan to dark red-brown in color.
• Six legs, with claws at the ends.
• Lice do not have wings or springs! They cannot fly or jump.

What do lice eggs (nits) look like?

• About the size of a grain of sand.
• Opal or translucent in color.
• It may be hard to tell nits from other things found on the scalp. Dandruff and hair products can be confusing. Nits are firmly attached; others may be easily moved by blowing or whisking.

Do lice move?

• Lice crawl very fast from light.
• Nits do not move. They are firmly attached to the hair shaft.

How can they be found?

• LOOK – using bright light, sun light or flash light and magnifying glass, if needed.
• USE – disposable sticks (pencil, toothpick, etc.) to part hair.

Getting Rid of Lice and Their Eggs

  • Use a tape or a fine tooth, warm comb to remove live lice, then
  • Use a special nit comb or pet flea comb or fingernails to remove nits.
  • OR, use a product called a pediculicide, available with or without prescription by various brand names. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for the current names.  

Treating with a Pediculicide

  • If you choose to use a pediculicide, it is very important to follow the directions EXACTLY as written. Read them all before starting.
  • Treat in a well-lit room.
  • Use the sink, NOT the shower or bath tub.
  • Remove upper body clothing.
  • Protect the eyes with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Follow with hot blow dryer and/or straightening iron.

Follow treatment with:

  • Nit removal - use fingernails, special lice comb (metal is best), pet flea comb, blunt-nose scissors to snip out nits.
  • Put on clean clothing.
  • Inspect the hair every two or three days for two weeks.
  • Manually remove any lice or nits found in the first seven days.
  • If live lice or new nits are found after seven days, repeat treatment as before. Do not treat again before seven days.
  • If live lice are still there after two treatments, check with a health care professional.


  • Head lice can live off the head for a short period of time, but in order to survive, they must find a human. Head lice do NOT live on pets.
  • Heat kills lice. The hot, dry air produced by standard hand-held hair dryers may kill lice and their eggs on a person's head.
  • People of ALL ages can get head lice. It is important to check everyone in the household and to share information with frequent visitors, close friends and school nurse.

Delousing the Area

Note: Where time and energy are limited, concentrate on inspection and combing rather than on extra washing of clothing and bedding.


  • Clothing, towels and linens used in the last two days by infested persons.
  • Check water temperature. 130°F is necessary to kill lice and nits.
  • Dry articles in dryer on hot cycle for at least 20 minutes.
  • Dry clean clothing that is not machine washable, OR
  • Press with hot iron, OR
  • Place in plastic bag, seal and store for at least two weeks, OR
  • Place bag in freezing temperatures for at least 24 hours.


  • Furniture, floors, carpets, mattresses and upholstered auto interior.
  • Furry and fuzzy stuffed toys.

Wipe down with a damp cloth:

  • Furniture that has smooth surface, such as leather.
  • Auto/truck interiors with smooth seat covers.

If you choose to clean the environment...

Where time and energy are limited, concentrate on inspection and combing rather than on extra washing of clothing and bedding.

  • Delouse the house and car.
  • Machine wash bedding and washable clothing in hot water and machine dry on high heat for at least 20 minutes.
  • Dry clean clothing that cannot be washed, OR press with a hot iron, OR place in a plastic bag and seal. Store for at least 2 weeks OR place in freezing temperatures for at least 24 hours.
  • Vacuum mattresses, carpets, upholstered furniture and car upholstery including head rests.
  • Wipe down smooth surfaces of furniture, auto head rest areas, plastic pillow covers and mattress covers.


For more information please visit:



CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: Managing Lice in the Classroom

1. Have students put their hats and scarves in sleeves of their coat.
2. Ask children to keep their coat on back of their chair, hanging or in any other way feasible that keeps them separate and not at risk of contact by another child (near the head).
3. Make sure that children do not share brushes, headgear, pillows, bedding, stuffed animals or costumes.
4. Wipe down shared headgear, headphones and/or helmets before being used by other people. An alcohol or other sanitary wipe, or soap and water are options.
5. All stuffed animals, fabric chairs, bean bags or upholstered furniture will be removed from the classroom and bagged or stored where there are not available to student use.
6. Be aware of student behaviors in class where they may be in close head to head contact and redirect the activity to separate their heads.
7. Recognize signs of head lice such as excessive scratching, irritability, or the presence of nits and/or lice.
8. Refer any child who exhibits potential signs or symptoms of head lice to the nurse for a screening.
9. Encourage children to tell their parents, teacher or school nurse any time their head itches.