What to do if your Child gets Lice at School

A pediatrician offers advice for parents on what to do if their child gets lice and how to help prevent it in the future.

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CLEVELAND – If you have children, you know there’s always a risk for the spread of lice at school – which is never fun to deal with.

So, what can parents do to help prevent their child from getting it?

“Telling your kids not to share items – don’t share hats, don’t share combs, that can help some. But it’s one of those things that can happen,” explained Gina Robinson, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Dr. Robinson said parents shouldn’t feel bad if their child gets lice or assume they did something wrong. As she mentioned, it can happen to anyone.

Signs for lice are pretty obvious. A child will typically scratch their head and be unable to stop.

You may also notice little white dots in the root of their hair that look like dandruff, but it’s actually the lice.

Dr. Robinson said you can buy treatment kits at the store which include the medication needed and a comb.

She said be sure you carefully remove any remnants of the nits, otherwise the lice could continue to spread.

“Don’t send your kids back to school until they’re clear and they have been treated, that makes a big difference in spreading,” she said. “Don’t feel like you have to fumigate the whole house, but do clean their bedding with hot water.”

Dr. Robinson said it’s also a good idea to let your child’s school know if they have lice so they can plan accordingly and notify other parents.

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