FACTS ABOUT HEAD LICE AND NITS

2015NOV10_licecombingWHAT ARE HEAD LICE:

Head lice are small parasitic insects. They live close on the human scalp, a few inches from the hair shaft.

WHO CAN GET HEAD LICE:

Anyone can get head lice. Head lice does not discriminate, and there is no shame in getting lice. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person, or by sharing hats, combs or other hair accessories. Head lice cannot hop or fly.

WHAT DO HEAD LICE LOOK LIKE:

Head lice have three forms: the egg (also called a nit), the nymph and the adult. Nits (eggs) are NOT WHITE, they are brown.  But they can also be light colored on blondes like camouflage. Lice, and in particular, nits, are incredibly small. Use the following photo as a guide:

lice-free-noggins-lice-removal-serviceGUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES ON GETTING RID OF HEAD LICE AND NITS

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A metal, fine-toothed nit/lice comb, available at most drugstores
  • Bottle of thick white hair conditioner
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels
  • A bowl of water or alcohol to rinse the comb periodically

FINE TOOTH COMBING

  • In a bowl, mix together a paste made of 2/3 conditioner and 1/3 baking soda. Set aside a stack of paper towels.
  • Make sure there is good light. Daylight is best.
  • Part your child’s hair into at least 4 equal sections. Apply the paste mixture to one section at a time, and comb with a nit comb. Start with the teeth of the fine comb touching the skin of the scalp at the top of the head. Draw the comb carefully towards the end of the hair.
  • Every time you draw the comb through a section, wipe the comb on the paper towel, cleaning off the paste mixture and any loose hair. Check the paper towel for lice or nits. Head lice are little insects, about the size of a pinhead, with legs. Nits are very small and droplet-shaped. They are attached to the hair shaft an inch or two past the scalp, and do not shake off like dandruff.
  •  Repeat this process over and over again from the top of the head to the ends of the hair in all directions, working carefully around the head until you have combed through the entire head of hair. Comb back to front, front to back, and side to side.
  • After combing half the head, comb those two sections together. Clip that half up and move on to the next side. When all sections are done, comb all of the hair together. The point of this is to be sure to comb through the areas where the hair was parted.
  • Dispose of used paper towels properly, preferably in sealable plastic bags.
  •  It is important to check every family member. Afterwards, and between each usage or person checked, wash the comb in soap and warm water, and sterilize it in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • Continue the comb out process daily for 5-7 days, as new nits may emerge over a week’s time.

HOME CARE

  • Remove all bedding, towels, clothing and anything else that has been used by anyone found with nits or lice. Wash and dry on high heat.
  •  Remove all pillows in the area and dry on high heat for 20 minutes.
  • Remove any stuffed animals in the area, put them in a sealed plastic bag and put the bag in a different location for one week.
  • Boil for 10 minutes, or put in the freezer for 24 hours, any combs, brushes and hair accessories used by anyone found with lice or nits.

PREVENTION

  • Be persistent about checking your child’s hair. Because nits and lice can be hard to detect with the naked eye, we recommend doing a comb out every 7-10 days.
  • Be vigilant about the “Hot Spots” on the head. Behind the ears, nape of the neck, crown of the head, and bangs.
  • Tie long hair up in ponytails, buns or braids.
  • Educate your children on activities that spread lice – e.g., sharing hats, combs, headbands or other hair accessories, whispering in ears, sleepovers.
  • Some evidence suggests that applying herbal conditioning sprays or repellents, or garlic drops, may keep lice at bay.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

The following websites provide additional information about lice:

  •  The Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/index.html.
  • The NYC Department of Education: http://schools.nyc.gov/offices/health/pediculosis/default.htm.
  • The National Pediculosis Association: http://www.headlice.org/index.html.

Virtually all professional companies recommend a metal lice comb. Here are a few:

metal lice comb

metal lice comb

If you are having trouble getting rid of lice, or don’t feel like doing it yourself, the following professionals can help.

  • Lice Consultants – www.liceconsultant.com
  • o Abigail Rosenfeld – 718-435- 2592 or 917-968- 0627
  • o Shayna Brown – 718-851- 2844 or 347-581- 9894
  • o Tzipora Rosenfeld – 718-854- 5423
  • LiceDoctors – 800-224- 2537 or www.licedoctors.com
  • Lice Free Noggins Lice Removal Service – 347-460- 1669 or wwww.licefreenoggins.com
  • Lice Out – 718-451- 6855 or www.nyliceout.com
  • Sara Hamberger – 718-837- 7443

This is not an exclusive list of providers, nor is PS 32 recommending any of these providers. We urge you to call around and do your research, as prices may vary greatly among the providers. And, feel free to look around for additional providers. If you find anyone you like, please let us know email Melissa.Palazzotto@ps32.org !

LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP LICE OUT OF PS 32.

We can’t do it alone. If you have any additions or corrections to this page, please let us know email  Melissa.Palazzotto@ps32.org.