Headlice are unfortunately very common amongst nursery and primary aged children. This is because younger children tend to put their heads together more whilst playing and sitting next to each other. Girls tend to get headlice more than boys, as their hair tends to be longer.
Having headlice is not a sign that your child has dirty hair. Some people seem to be more prone to getting them than others and it can seem as if your child is never without them! Staff in school also get headlice, as it is an occupational hazard of working in a school.
The school nurse no longer checks children's hair for headlice, so the onus is on parents to check and treat their child's hair on a regular basis. Here are some useful tips to coping with headlice:
- Combing conditioner through wet hair is a good way to check if your child has headlice, as they stick to the comb.
- You should only use a medicated treatment on your child's hair if you have actually seen live headlice. If you use treatment as a precaution, the lotion may not work effectively.
- You can get free headlice treatment from certain chemists, including Huddersfield Pharmacy (formerly Lloyds in the town centre) and Meltham Road Pharmacy, if you take a louse in sellotape. Please be aware that the chemist at Newsome no longer takes part in this scheme.
- You will need to treat your child more than once, as the treatment only works on the headlice and not the eggs (nits). Existing eggs will hatch out after the first treatment.
- Please make sure girls have their hair tied back in school.
- You will need to check all family members if your child develops headlice.
- Children do tend to get headlice less frequently as they progress through school.
We do not authorise your child to be absent from school for headlice, unless there mitigating circumstances.Please contact Mrs Heywood, our attendance officer, for support with this.
If you need any further advice around headlice, please speak to either Mrs Mellor or Mrs Heywood. We do have limited supplies of free conditioner and fine toothed combs available on request. We can also make referrals to the school nurse if you are struggling to clear your child's hair.