Head lice crawl from person to person by direct head to head contact. They do not spread disease. Anyone can get them. They are more common in children as their heads frequently touch when they play together. Itching is the main complaint.
Check your child’s hair weekly for head lice. Check more often if the child has been in close contact with someone who has head lice.
If your child has head lice, notify all possible contacts so that they can be checked and treated if necessary. Do not send a child with head lice to school or child care facility until he or she has had the first of the two required treatments.
Parents who are having problems with treatment or who want more information can call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 to speak with a public health nurse.
Let parents know if a child is suspected of having head lice or if someone in the class has head lice.
When a child is found to have head lice, he or she may remain at school until the end of the day. Children with head lice should not participate in activities where children's heads would touch. It is essential to handle the situation sensitively and to minimize any embarrassment to the child. When the child returns home at the end of the day the principal should send home the Withdrawal Notice For Head Lice along with the Head Lice Information Sheet. The first treatment should be given that evening.
Your school’s public health nurse can provide education, consultation and training to parents, volunteers, and school staff. The head lice information sheet is available in multiple languages – please ask your school’s public health nurse or contact us for more information.