Spring is fast approaching, but since we are still in the winter months it is a good chance to be aware of possible pest problems that occur with greater frequency in public schools during this time of year. As a refresher, head lice is one such pest that can be spread whenever there is direct contact with the head or hair of an infested individual. Lice can also be spread through the sharing of personal articles, like hats, towels, brushes, hair ties, and hooded jackets. There are brochures available in the office that can provide greater information and detail about diagnosis and treatment. I just want to take this opportunity to share with you the procedures that we follow each year to ensure the health and safety of your child at SMES. Students are keeping their jackets, hats, and other personal articles contained inside of their backpacks at all times, with the exception of recess time. In addition, students are not permitted to share or exchange articles of clothing with classmates at any time. We have on site staff who are available to discretely inspect students if any question arises about a possible infestation. Your help in inspecting your child weekly would be greatly appreciated. Here are the procedures for doing so:
1. Under bright light begin looking at the back of the head just above the neck area.
2. Part the hair section by section and look closely for head lice or nits (eggs). Eggs will usually be located near the scalp.
3. Depending on the length and thickness of the hair, it should take between 5 and 15 minutes to properly inspect a child's head.
If you suspect your child is infested with head lice please notify the school nurse. In addition, the entire family should be inspected for head lice as well. My intent isn't to frighten anyone, but to provide up front information about a problem that occurs each year in schools across the nation. This way together we can do our best to deter the spread of this pest and keep this learning environment safe for children to learn and be their best. Thanks for your help and understanding.