Head lice infestations occur due to close head-to-head contact between humans. The school, kindergarten or any child-care institution is not to blame or be held responsible for head lice. Since head lice are carried into the institution, it may be wise to develop a set of guidelines in response to head lice.
- Announce a head lice infestation by bulletins, notes, letters, emails or any other form of communication that will inform all parents. Not every parent will notify playmates and friends if their child has lice. Schools and child-care facilities can help by informing parents of the problem.
- Children with head lice should not be able to return to the facility until they are under treatment. If you discover head lice on a child, it is a good idea to notify the parents immediately so that the parents can treat the children the same day.
- There is no need to close playrooms, or stop activities with the children in the facility. Children are in close contact with other children everywhere. Studies have shown that playrooms or costumes do not pose a bigger risk of head lice infestation.
- Do not spend a great deal of time examining all the children for head lice. This could give parents a false sense of security that their child does not have lice. Remind each parent that it is a good idea to check their children for head lice regularly.
- Make information and materials about head lice available to parents. Develop a set of informational materials that can be handed out to parents during a lice infestation. Make sure to only refer to updated and correct information on the internet.
- Recommend only approved and well document head lice products. There are numerous ‘household remedies’ out there that are suggested for removing head lice. However, no documentation has proven their efficiency and many of these remedies cause skin irritations, and sometimes even allergic reactions. Refer parents to head lice treatment facilities and natural, non-toxic products.