Dear Parents and Teachers,
This is a special update to notify everyone regarding a case of lice in the school. Since it is the beginning of the year, I felt it’s an opportune time to communicate with everyone regarding this topic.
Dear Parents/Caregivers of SCIS Pudong
This afternoon a few cases of head lice were found in both Lower and Upper School divisions. As a precaution, each affected grade level was checked. This letter is simply an additional precaution to help ensure a transparent communication process for everyone in our school community.
It is very important that families do regular checks at home as well. In the future, if you find your child has lice, please notify the school immediately. When a case of lice is reported to us either by a parent or a teacher, we check the grade level and all students who the infected child has come in contact with. We also do regular checks of the entire school population.
Head lice are passed from person to person by direct contact or by shared objects such as towels, combs, and hats. It is important to know that this is not a matter of hygiene, but rather a simple contact and exposure issue. You can help us prevent the spread of lice by checking your child’s hair regularly and by watching for symptoms.
What to look for:
- Small light or dark brown insects without wings.
- Tiny white eggs (nits) on the hair shafts.
- An intense itching on the head and neck.
What to do:
- Please advise the school if you find head lice.
- Check ALL members of the household at the same time and treat those who have head lice.
- Use an effective head lice treatment. The pharmacy can advise you.
- After the treatment, comb the hair with a fine-tooth comb to remove as many eggs as possible.
- Extra precautions include washing all bed linen and towels with hot water, or tumble drying for 20 minutes on high. Items such as hats and helmets should also be thoroughly cleaned
- Soak combs, brushes etc. in hot water for at least ten minutes.
- Vacuuming carpets may help.
Please understand that we are unable to admit students to class that have head lice or nits. After a successful treatment, the student will need to visit the school nurse to confirm a return to class. It is essential that treatments are successful to avoid spread to other students. If your child has been diagnosed with head lice or nits please continue to check all household members daily, for 3 weeks, following an outbreak. Re-treat anyone found to have head lice or nits. Repeat treatment 7 to 10 days after initial treatment.
Please remember that just treating the hair will not eradicate the problem. Check the hair of all household members daily during an outbreak and once a week at other times. Remind children to avoid direct head- to-head contact. Please report any cases of lice or nits to the school.
If you have questions or would like further information, please contact the school nurse, Ms. Lynn Fu at firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate your support and attention to this matter, as we look to ensure the well-being of all our students.
Head of School
Personal Care for Lice
Lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person, especially in group settings (like schools, childcare centers, slumber parties, sports activities, and camps). Children are most prone to catching lice because they tend to have close physical contact with each other and share personal items. Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
You should examine your child’s head, especially behind the ears and at the nape of the neck, for crawling lice and nits if your child exhibits symptoms of a head lice infestation. If crawling lice or nits are found, all household members should be examined for crawling lice and nits every 2–3 days. Persons with live (crawling) lice or nits within ¼ inch or less of the scalp should be treated.
Your doctor can recommend a medicated shampoo, cream rinse, or lotion to kill the lice. These may be over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications, depending on what treatments have already been tried. Medicated lice treatments usually kill the lice and nits, but it may take a few days for the itching to stop.
To remove lice and nits by hand, use a fine-tooth comb on your child’s wet, conditioned hair every 3 to 4 days for 3 weeks after the last live louse was seen.
Here are some simple ways to get rid of the lice and their eggs, and help prevent a lice re-infestation:
- Wash all bed linens and clothing that’s been recently worn by anyone in your home who’s infested in very hot water (130°F [54.4°C]), then put them in the hot cycle of the dryer for at least 20 minutes.
- Dry clean anything that can’t be washed (like stuffed animals). Or put them in airtight bags for at least 3 days.
- Vacuum carpets and any upholstered furniture (in your home or car), then throw away the vacuum cleaner bag.
- Soak hair-care items like combs, barrettes, hair ties or bands, headbands, and brushes in rubbing alcohol or medicated shampoo for 1 hour. You also can wash them in hot water or just throw them away.
Because lice are easily passed from person to person in the same house, bedmates and infested family members also will need treatment to prevent the lice from coming back.
In your efforts to get rid of the bugs, there are some things you shouldn’t do. Some don’ts of head lice treatment include:
- Don’t use a hairdryer on your child’s hair after applying any of the currently available scalp treatments because some contain flammable ingredients. A hair dryer could also cause live lice to blow into the air and spread to others nearby.
- Don’t use a conditioner or shampoo/conditioner combination before applying lice medication.
- Don’t wash your child’s hair for 1 to 2 days after using a medicated treatment.
- Don’t use sprays or hire a pest control company to try to get rid of the lice, as these treatments can be harmful. Head lice don’t survive long once they fall off a person, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money trying to rid the house of lice.
- Don’t use the same medication more than three times on one person. If it doesn’t seem to be working, your doctor may recommend another medication.
- Don’t use more than one head lice medication at a time.