As parents, when anyone mentions the word "headlice" we all begin to scratch our heads and panic that our child could be"infected". Yes, the "ick" factor is definitely there for all of us but here are the medical facts:
Pediculosis or Head lice, is a common parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. Head lice have been around since prehistoric times and do not spread disease. Head lice are found world wide and do not discriminate based on cleanliness, sex, age, or economics. Head lice are acquired through direct head to head contact with an infested person’s hair, shared combs, hats or other accessories.Your child will not get headlice by sitting next to a child with headlice in class or on the bus. Headlice DO NOT fly, jump or walk across a desk to get to your child.They need a warm human body to live on and lay their eggs. Best friends, sleepovers, hugging, sharing clothing and hair accessories are the most common routes to pass headlice around. Head lice may remain alive off of the human body on furniture or bedding for 24-48 hours.
As per recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the PA Department of Health and the National Association for School Nurses, routine screening in schools for head lice has not been proven to have a significant effect on decreasing the incidence of head lice and is not shown to be cost effective. Head lice are not a public health risk and they do not transmit any disease.Therefore, exclusion from school upon the discovery of head lice is strongly discouraged. Routine screening of class rooms for head lice is not done in Muhlenberg School District. Parents/guardians will be notified immediately by phone and letter if their child is found to have an active head lice infestation (live lice). Please reference Muhlenberg School District Pediculosis (Headlice) Policy No. 209.2.
If you have any questions or concerns about headlice please don't hesitate to call or email your Certified School Nurse. All information you share with us is always confidential. We are here to help you understand and conquer this "itchy" subject as painlessly as possible.