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Head lice guidelines

Head lice have been around for thousands of years. We are never going to be completely rid of them but, we can make managing them easier. There is no single treatment that kills 100% of head lice or eggs. It takes time and persistence to get rid of them. We have had a number of cases in the Pandas, Grasshoppers and Rainbow rooms and this causes concern and frustration for parents, staff and children. Families have primary responsibility for the detection and treatment of head lice and we will work with families to manage head lice effectively.

Some useful tips:
• Check your child’s hair on a weekly basis, using the conditioner/combing detection method to minimise the problem
• Check any siblings hair too and treat them if necessary
• Notify the centre if your child is found to have head lice and advise when appropriate treatment has commenced
• Tie back long hair

We will contact families if we observe live head lice in your child’s hair. Once your child has been treated (chemical or conditioner method) they can return to the centre.

Conditioner treatment – Comb conditioner on to dry brushed hair. This stuns the lice and makes it difficult for them to grip the hair or crawl around. Conditioner does not kill lice, but it does stun them for about 20 minutes. This allows time to comb through the hair with a lice comb. Do this every week.

Chemical method – There are a number of products on the market. Which ever one you choose, the treatment must be repeated in seven days. You must comb through the hair with a lice comb. By treating again in seven days, you are aiming to kill and comb out lice that have since hatched from eggs, which were missed during the first treatment.

For further information visit www.health.vic.gov.au/headlice


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