- Notify your school immediately if you find headlice or nits on your child.
- If your child has head lice, you must treat your child with a recommended treatment. Your child may return to school after treatment has begun.
- The school will notify you if there are known cases of headlice in a particular class.
What are head lice?
- Head lice are very common and have been around for thousands of years. Anyone can get head lice and some people get them multiple times per year.
- Head lice are small, wingless insects that feed on blood from the scalp. Nits are the eggs of headlice and can be white, or black.
- Head lice die very quickly away from the head (usually within 24 hours).
- Head lice crawl and cannot fly or jump from head to head. Head lice can only be spread when people are in close contact, or by sharing hats, combs etc. with another person who has head lice.
Where to start
To help prevent the spread of head lice, we ask that you:
- notify your child’s school as soon as you detect head lice or nits in your child’s hair
- take advice as to the best treatment for your child and family and follow the pharmacist’s instruction.
What your school will do
- The school will notify you if there is reason to believe your child has head lice.
- The school will notify parents if there are known cases of head lice in a particular class and ask parents to check their children’s hair.
- The school will not administer treatment to your child.
- Head lice can be hard to spot but look out for brown or grey insects about the size of a match head that sit at the roots of your child’s hair.
- A nit will not easily come off the hair, but dandruff will.
- Teach your child not to share brushes, combs, hats, swimming caps or hair bands, and to keep long hair tied back at school
- Consider washing bedding and clothes if your child has head lice to avoid recurrence after treatment.
Where can I get more information?
- A pharmacist or doctor.
- Talk to your child’s teacher or principal.
- Visit the Department of Health website.
- Raising Children’s Network