headlice

It has come to our attention that a number of pupils are currently infested with headlice. It is imperative that parents check their child’s hair daily and if any signs of live lice/eggs are seen then the child needs to be treated.
Please see the advice from NHS Wales below.
Please contact the School Nurse at the Ruabon clinic if you need any help /further advice.

Head Lice
Head lice are parasitic insects called Pediculus humanus capitis. They only live on the heads of people and are caught through direct, prolonged head-to-head contact with an infested person. Head lice cannot jump, hop or swim.

There are three forms of head lice:
Nits are the oval, yellowy white head lice eggs. These attach to the hair shaft and take about a week to hatch.
Nymphs are the newly hatched lice which look like adults but are smaller. These feed on blood and take about 7 days to mature.
Adults are about the size of a sesame seed and have six legs with hook-like claws and are tan to greyish-white. Adults can live up to 30 days and feed on blood.

The main symptom of head lice is itching of the scalp.

More information about head lice is available from the NHS Direct Wales website at www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/encyclopaedia/h/article/headlice

Who gets them and how serious are they?
Anyone can catch head lice, but they are most common in preschool children, primary school children and their families. Head lice are not a serious health problem and children do not need to be kept off school. They rarely cause anything more than an itchy scalp.

Treatment
There are a number of chemical treatments available to buy over the counter from pharmacies. Manufacturers instructions should be followed carefully when using these products. Alternatively, wet-combing is a technique that can be used to treat and prevent head-lice. More information on the treatment and prevention of head-lice is available on the NHS Direct Wales website.

How common are they?
Head lice are common particularly in children aged 4-11 although girls seem to be more prone to head lice than boys.

Prevention
Checking hair for signs of head lice regularly and prompt treatment if live lice are discovered is the best method to prevent regular or prolonged infestation.