Head lice are a common problem among preschoolers and schoolchildren. Transmission occurs mainly through direct head-to-head contact. Other modes of transmission may include sharing headwear, brushes, and other objects that touch the head.
Take the following steps to prevent the spread of head lice in your classroom1:
- Teach your students to avoid head-to-head or hair-to-hair contact
- If your students are old enough to have phones, teach them to be careful not to put their heads too close together during selfies. Selfies have been connected to a recent increase in lice transmission
- Don’t let students share items that touch the head, including brushes, hair ties, hats, and scarves
- If a student is exhibiting signs of a head lice infestation, such as scratching their head often, check them for head lice immediately. Head lice are about the size of a sesame seed and are usually gray or tan. For more information on spotting head lice infestations, check here
- If one of your students was affected, remove any items such as pillows, floor mats, or stuffed animals that the student was in contact with for 48 hours. Head lice are unlikely to survive on inanimate objects longer than two days
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/prevent.html