Pediculosis (Head Lice)
Every school year we hear about cases of Pediculosis in our schools. Pediculosis, which is spread most commonly by close person-to-person contact, does not pose a health hazard, transmit disease, nor serve as a sign of poor hygiene. However, making you aware can serve as a chance to catch cases early. We urge you to check your child as needed to make certain there are no problems. We suggest checking for about two weeks after a notification and then as needed.
The Health Services Department revised and updated the internal procedures related to pediculosis (head lice) in May of 2018 for implementation in the 2018-2019 school year, to be in alignment with regulatory and research agencies, including the Allegheny County Health Department, Center for Disease Control, National Association of School Nurses, and American Academy of Pediatrics. Each of these agencies shares consistent beliefs about the best response practices.
Please know that Pediculosis can be spread:
- Directly through contact with an affected person's head/hair.
- Lice cannot jump, leap, or fly.
- Indirectly by placing clothing of an affected child in contact with the clothing of an unaffected child and by sharing such items as combs, brushes, hats, caps, scarves, wigs, pillows and bedding.
Should your child have a case of Pediculosis:
- Please notify the school nurse.
- Contact your healthcare provider for his or her recommendation, which may include treating your child with an over-the-counter Pediculosis product from your drugstore. Read the instructions carefully. You may have to repeat treatment within two weeks. It is really important to comb out the nits.
- The Allegheny County Health Department provides a more detailed overview of Pediculosis and treatment. Click here for more information about head lice.