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Lice in Your Child's Classroom?

Oct 27, 2014 09:22PM ● Published by Steven Jack

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By now, it’s possible your child has come home with a note from school announcing a student or students in their class has lice.

While Oswego School District 308 officials wouldn’t say whether there has been a recent increase in the number head lice cases in the district, several parents have contacted Only Oswego in recent weeks requesting information regarding a possible outbreak. 

Those parents also have questioned the district’s policy on students with head lice and whether enough is being done to educate parents. 

“School District 308 takes head lice very seriously as do school districts across the country,” said district spokesman Brian Graves. “… All district schools follow a strict protocol designed to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination within the classrooms.”

That protocol, said Graves, includes building nurses checking students “reasonably suspected” of having live lice bugs in their hair. When a child is found with live lice the child’s parents are notified, and the student is not allowed back in school until being re-checked by the building nurse. If another student in a classroom becomes infected, a letter is sent home to all parents in that classroom as a precaution, Graves said.

“Letters to parents include a detailed set of instructions for how to get rid of lice and prevent a further re-infestation should they be found,” he said.

As part of the district’s policy, a building nurse also will check the head of siblings of infested students and contact the building nurse in other district schools attended by other siblings. Finally, the building nurse also will check the heads of all students in a class where two or more students have been found with live lice.

Additionally, parents play a large role in helping to prevent the spread of lice. The district asks for parents to check their children regularly for signs of lice, including the tiny white eggs known as nits. Further parental steps include:

  • Be alert for red bite marks and sores on the scalp, behind the ears and on the neck.
  • Watch for excessive itching of the scalp.
  • Do not allow children to share combs, brushes, hats or hair accessories.
  • If lice is discovered, inform the building nurse immediately.
  • If infestation is found, clean thoroughly all bed linens, pillows, fabric furniture in the home and automobiles. Also, wash all clothes worn by that child within the last 48 hours.
  • Treat family members with medicated shampoo, and comb out the nits and live lice with a fine-toothed comb. Repeat treatment after 7 to 10 days as needed.
  • See a doctor if repeat infestations occur. 
For more information on head lice, check the Centers for Disease Control website.
Education, News head lice

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