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Collin Co. Warns Of Approaching Head Lice Season

September 13, 2007;  CBS 11 News

(CBS 11 News) COLLIN COUNTY September is Head Lice Prevention Month and parents in Collin County are being alerted that the season is approaching.

While some parents believe schools are a prime location for the transmission of head lice, the parasite is just as likely to be passed on at other places, including movie theaters and slumber parties.

Head lice are spread by direct contact with infested people or materials. Lice don't spread disease and aren't dangerous, but their bites may cause an itchy and inflamed scalp and persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation and even infection.

In a press release sent out Thursday Collin County epidemiologist Janet Glowicz said, "The public conception is that head lice are associated with poor hygiene, but that's just not case."

Lice eggs, which are called nits, look like tiny yellow, tan, or brown dots before hatching. After hatching, the remaining shell looks white or clear. Lice lay nits on hair shafts close to the skin's surface.

Collin County's Health Care Services offered the following advice information when dealing with head lice:

  • Parents should periodically check their child's hair for nits.
  • School districts may exclude children with head lice from attendance until one treatment has been administered.
  • One treatment is not likely to remove all nits, so parents should expect that they will need to check the child's hair nightly for one to two weeks until all nits have been removed.
  • A child with nits that have been treated may be allowed to return to school depending on your school's policy regarding lice.
  • Blaming the school or other parents is not an effective method of stopping the spread of head lice and can be very harmful to children who may feel stigmatized.