Heads Up

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Lice check reminder

This is the time of the year when lice are the most prevalent in schools due to summer camps, sleepovers, etc. Please make sure to check your child’s head for lice before they start school. This will help prevent some of the spread of head lice throughout the classrooms. Please refer to this article to help you check your son’s head for lice.

The main symptom of infestation is frequent scratching of the scalp. However, some infected children don’t experience itching. To tell if your son has head lice, you need to check his hair for the presence of eggs (nits) on the hair shaft.

To check for eggs, part the hair in sections and look for tiny oval particles attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Eggs are deposited in a halo pattern around the temples, above the ears or at the nape of the neck. Lice eggs are tear-shaped, brown and attached to only one side of the hair shaft. If you identify any eggs, it’s necessary to apply a special treatment shampoo to the hair. The pharmacist can recommend a variety of products.

Head lice aren’t a sign of poor hygiene. Head lice can be transmitted through the sharing of personal items such as combs, brushes, towels, earphones, hats, stuffed toys, pillows and clothing. Please instruct your son not to share these items. If your son has head lice, it will be important to check all family members and to do proper cleaning around your household. Lice will die within 24 to 48 hours without a blood meal from a person. To clean your environment, you can put items that can be dried in a dryer for 20 to 30 minutes on high heat. Vacuum items that can’t be dried and items that can’t be vacuumed or dried can be set aside for 24 to 48 hours.

For more information on lice and treatment options, please refer to www.licesquad.com or the Toronto Public Health website at www.toronto.ca/health/hl_index.htm.

Please contact me if you have questions or need to report any identified cases.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Gina Suva
Preparatory School Registered Nurse
416-488-1125, ext. 4911
gsuva@ucc.on.ca

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