What are the best ways to avoid head lice at school?

Have your child avoid sharing things like brushes, hair accessories, hats or scarves at school in order to avoid lice. If your child has long hair, braids, buns or pony tails may help decrease the amount of hair that the lice can reach. If there is a lice outbreak reported at school, you may take extra precautions such as wiping down your child’s backpack or jacket daily when they get home from school. Also, during the outbreak encourage your child to refrain from hugging other kids.

Kids may or may not have any discomforting symptoms, like itching, but you can check in the hair to look for nits or lice. If they do get head lice, kids should stay at home until treated with medication that kills live active lice, and make sure to notify the school. Also make sure all bedding, towels, recently worn clothing are completely washed and cleaned with hot water and dried on a hot air setting. For items that cannot be laundered, place in a plastic bag for two weeks to kill the lice. Parents can also take children in to be evaluated by their primary care provider if they have any concerns or if there are active lice still present despite over the counter medication treatment. The main thing to know is that head lice is common. It doesn’t mean that your child is “dirty,” and when kids are playing together, it is pretty easy to pick up.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.