Head Lice, Preschoolers and Scary Bugs

Practical advice for preventing head lice for preschoolers. Learn what you should expect at school and ways to prevent at home.

Things are catchy especially amongst preschoolers and especially amongst preschoolers who have siblings. There are some things you want them to catch, others like head lice, you don’t. The buzz around the community lately has been more head lice than our great Bees. So, what are grown-ups supposed to do about head lice and their preschoolers? Here’s some practical advice.

The basics:

  • Head lice is very common in early childhood settings, no matter what the socio-economic standing of the school. 
  • Head lice prefer clean hair.
  • Head lice need a human “host” within 24-36 hours to survive.
  • Head lice can have tiny eggs on the hair look like flakes of dandruff. However, instead of flaking off the scalp, they stay put.

Avoidance is the key. Preschools need to adhere to some basic and vigilant standards to ensure the school environment is “lice-free.” Ensure your preschool is properly trained and follows disease training guidelines. If you have questions, ask them to show you the guidelines and how they are complying with those guidelines. In the case of a reported incident, ensure the following:

  1. Ensure all “soft” items have been bagged and been put away for two weeks after an incident has been reported. 
  2. Ensure dress up items are cleaned and sealed away for two weeks. 
  3. Ensure carpeting in the entire school has been sprayed with an organic spray containing tea tree oil. Ensure the carpeting has been thoroughly
  4. Ensure procedures like these are repeated any time there is reported case.

What you can do at home:

  • Be vigilant. Because this is an all too common problem, preschools need your help. Unless you put your child in a bubble, they are going to contract childhood maladies! So here’s what we need you to do. Be vigilant! The faster you catch these critters—the less chance of spreading them around! If you suspect anything or your child is scratching their head more than usual-please check before sending them to school. A nightly bath ritual checking may be in order while this is in the community. 
  • Be calm. At the preschool age, your child does not need to know the details. You can simply say you are checking to make sure they have a clean and healthy head. Keep it simple.
  • Please be HONEST. Call your teacher immediately … there is no shame in this and a quick response will help ensure fellow students can take necessary precautions. 

Charlene Nebozuk has been the lead teacher and administrator at the Brecksville Co-op since 1986.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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