1 IMPORTANT MESSAGE: FOLLOW UP FOR LICE ISSUE Feb. 5, 2014 Dear St. Ignatius Parents and Guardians, Almost on a weekly basis, we have children who have been found to have lice. Again, this is not just an issue at St. Ignatius Parish School, but locally and nationally lice is on the rise. I can t thank the parents enough for being so vigilant and letting us know immediately when they have found lice or nits in their child s hair. I have once again, contracted with Deana Fox, the expert at lice detection, to do a check of our entire school. She should have that completed by this Friday. Below, you will see the letter that I sent out to our community on Nov. 13, Some parents have recently asked me what the protocol for the school is and how they can eradicate lice if it is found. I would also encourage all girls with long hair to pull it back in a ponytail while her at school. That will help a lot. If you are having sleepovers or play dates, I would be very aware of the girls sharing clothes, hair brushes, playing with each other s hair, etc all the fun things girls like to do. Right now, it is not a good idea. We are doing all we can here at school and if everyone at home can do that too, we can get rid of these pesky critters. I have also been asked to host a short meeting so that Deana Fox can do a tutorial on lice, give her suggestions and show parents exactly what to look for. I am working on scheduling that soon. I will let you know when that is on the calendar. Just to emphasize, this is NOT a St. Ignatius problem. Mrs. Fox has been very, very busy at other Catholic and public schools. It is a big problem for all of us right now. Patty Lane Nov. 13, 2013 Dear St. Ignatius Parents and Guardians, There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our children. Over the years, our Health Ministry (Parent Club Committee) and our Catholic School Advisory Council (CSAC) have worked to ensure all necessary forms, physicals, shots, etc are in place. It is a tireless job. This year, our main issue has been Lice. It has been quite a nightmare. You may or may not realize it, but Lice LOVE clean hair. Apparently, the hygiene especially in our kindergarten class has been outstanding. I have attached a FAQ sheet, but there is a ton of information on the web. Due to the inconsistency with how the school has responded to Lice found on a student, our CSAC has created, approved, and now the administration will be implementing the following policy. Head Lice and Nit Policy 1. When a student has been identified as having nits and/or lice, the school will contact the parents/guardians to pick up their child for immediate treatment. 2. The siblings of the infected student will also be screened. 3. The student and their family will receive information about pediculosis(head lice) and instructions on treating their child and their home to remove all nits and/or lice. 4. Upon return to school, the student will need to be screened at the school office by a school employee for nits and/or lice before being allowed to enter back in the classroom.
2 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience. Patty Lane ADDITIONAL INFORMATION The CDC states that head lice (pediculosis) are not known to transmit any disease and therefore are not considered a health hazard. However, treating head lice is very time consuming and can be expensive. Head lice infestations can be asymptomatic, particularly with a first infestation or when an infestation is light. Itching ("pruritus") is the most common symptom of head lice infestation and is caused by an allergic reaction to louse bites. It may take 4 6 weeks for itching to appear the first time a person has head lice. In some cases, people can be allergic to lice. Other symptoms may include: A tickling feeling or a sensation of something moving in the hair Irritability and sleeplessness Sores on the head caused by scratching (these sores caused by scratching can sometimes become infected with bacteria normally found on a person s skin) MEDICAL AND SOCIAL ADVANTAGES OF THE NO NIT POLICY (from The National Pediculosis Association) Prevents continuing infestations caused by the surviving and hatching of nits Maximizes the opportunity to eliminate repeated chemical treatments aimed at killing head lice that hatch from remaining viable nits Eliminates confusion: Were these eggs here before or do they represent a new infestation? Contributes to improved standards of personal hygiene and self-esteem, protecting children from ridicule and rejection Enhances uninterrupted class time for the majority of the children and prevents lost days at work that can be costly for parents. HOW DO I TREAT LICE? (from and Mother Nature Network) Non-medicated treatments: Here are several harmless, but messy treatments that MAY eliminate lice: Olive oil Mayonnaise Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) These work by suffocating the lice and their eggs. Simply massage thoroughly into hair, put on a shower cap, and allow to sit overnight. Wash the hair in the morning with regular shampoo. The main drawback of these treatments is that they can be very difficult to rinse out, sometimes requiring several washings over several days. Because of this, we recommend you try a shampoo first.
3 Pesticide-free Shampoo There are several different ways to treat lice, both medical and non-medical. Over the years some lice have become resistant to the commonly used medicated shampoos, we recommend first trying a pesticide-free shampoo treatment. Dimethicone (brand name LiceMD) A new pesticide-free breakthrough treatment that helps parents take control of lice outbreaks and achieve peace of mind while restoring their household to its normal balance. This head lice treatment is pediatrician-tested and clinically proven to effectively and safely eliminate eggs, lice and nits in three simple steps. Its primary ingredient is dimethicone, a safe and effective synthetic lubricant with a wellknown safety profile, and that is odorless, non-irritating and hypoallergenic. The LiceMD gel formula lubricates and allows the comb to glide effortlessly through even long, thick or very curly hair, so parents can concentrate on removing the lice and eggs, not struggling to pull a fine tooth comb through tangled hair. Since LiceMD is pesticide-free, there is no treatment application limit. And because it uses a physical instead of a chemical mode of action, lice resistance is not a factor. To learn more about treating head lice and preventing future outbreaks, visit: Combing with a lice comb A very thorough combing can remove not only the adults but also the eggs. However it is very important that you use a good comb. It is important to use a good steel comb like the Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb (this also used by professional "nit pickers"). Positive: All natural and can be effective Negative: You have to be thorough. Expect to spend at least an hour on a full head of hair. If you miss anything, you will have another outbreak. Comb thoroughly once a week for three weeks. Medicated Shampoos Pyrethrin or pyrethrum (brand names RID, A-200, Clear, Pronto, R & C) these over-the-counter products are natural extracts from the chrysanthemum plant, and are approved for all ages, even young infants. They effectively kill live lice, but they do not kill the unhatched eggs. Therefore, you must repeat it in 7 to 10 days to kill any new lice that have hatched in the meantime, even if you don t see any. These new lice can t lay eggs for 2 to 3 weeks, so no need to keep repeating. Don t use these if you are allergic to ragweed. Some itching may continue after use due to minor irritation from the shampoo. General instructions for this type of shampoo are to apply it to dry hair thoroughly, wait 10 minutes, then add water to form a lather, massage for a minute, and then rinse thoroughly. You should follow the instructions on the box. WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO DO TO PREVENT RECURRENCE OR SPREAD OF THE LICE? Examine household and close contacts Check for nits or live lice. Anyone with visible lice or symptoms of scalp itching should be treated. You do not need to automatically treat everybody that has come into contact with your child. The only exception to this is that you should treat bedmates whether you find lice or not. Disinfect household and personal objects
4 Brushes and combs can either be washed in one of the medicated shampoos or soaked in hot water (more than 128 degrees F) for 10 minutes. Water that is close to boiling is plenty hot enough. Pillow cases, sheets, hats, clothing worn in the past few days, coats and ornamental hair clips and ribbons can be machine washed in the hot cycle then dried on the hot cycle. Anything that cannot be washed can be tied up in a garbage back and placed in the closet for 10 days. This will kill any lice or eggs. Vacuum the bedroom, sofa, bed and pillows will get rid of any stray lice. Check your child s scalp every 2 to 3 days for any new lice or nits. Use a nit comb FOR TWO MORE WEEKS. Frequently Asked Questions: (from Pediculosis (Head Lice) What are head lice? Head lice are small parasitic insects that have evolved to live on the scalp of humans. They depend upon human blood for survival. What does head lice look like? Head lice can be as small as a strawberry seed and can grow to larger than the size of a grain of rice. They can adapt to the hair color of the their host making them very difficult to detect. They do not have wings and cannot jump or fly but they can crawl and fall down the hair shaft. What do the nits (eggs) look like? They are about the size of, or smaller than a poppy seed. They blend in with the hair color of the infested person and are typically found on the hair shaft close to the scalp in the front and crown areas, at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. How do people get head lice? They are generally transmitted through head to head contact. Children in the ages 3-11 are the typical carrier of head lice. This is simply because they are more likely to come into contact with one another through play and interaction. Children are not the only ones that get head lice, any person with hair on their head is susceptible. It is believed that less than 10% of lice and nit
5 infestations are picked up through the environment. Dogs, cats, or other household pets do not bring in head lice. Why did I get head lice? Head lice are attracted to some people more than others. The reasons are not exactly clear, although it is known that blood type and RH factor can be a variable. What we do know is that it is not because a person is dirty. Head lice prefer clean hair since it is easier for the female to attach her eggs. Can head lice cause health problems? Head lice are merely a nuisance and not a health problem. A secondary infection could be caused from opening a sore from the in secant (lice secretion) scratching. Also, some people can be allergic to head lice. How do I know if my child has head lice? Inspect your child s head. Look for nits (eggs) on the hair shaft near the scalp around the crown area, the nape of the neck and behind the ears. They will be located close to the scalp. Head lice eggs cannot be brushed or flicked off, and are difficult to pull out of the hair. Also look for live lice bugs that will be in the hair close to the scalp and usually blend in with the hair color. If you are still unsure, use a good steel lice comb such as the NitFree Terminator or contact a professional lice removal company. My child has lice but how do I know if I have it too? If you have been able to identify your child with head lice then you can probably identify head lice in your own hair by combing your hair with a lice and nit removal comb. If you are still not certain, contact a professional lice removal company. What if I find head lice? If head lice are found then it needs immediate attention. The reproduction of head lice is an ongoing cycle. Every day that is allowed to go by is another day for the female to lay her eggs. More eggs result in more lice, which means more eggs. Removing head lice is a difficult process and very time consuming. It is well worth taking care of the problem now than let a full on infestation take place. What is the lice life cycle?