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Head Lice in Child and Day Care: What to Do?

Head Lice in Child and Day Care: What to Do?
Updated on 
March 15, 2019

Daycare costs are at an all time high, so when your child is sent home from day care, we know the cost is more than just for lice treatment. If your child goes to daycare and lice is a problem, you definitely want to get rid of it so your child can go back to daycare and you can go back to work!

Daycare Lice Policy

If you’ve gotten the head lice letter to parents from daycare, the first thing you likely will do is check your child for lice. If you subsequently discover lice, the lice protocol daycare is something you should consider and examine closely. Head lice and daycare policy, while different from facility to facility, often requires that your child be lice free before returning to care. The policy should include:

  1. The process by which pertinent information is communicated to faculty and parents
  2. The precise steps that the daycare center will follow when a case is identified
  3. The screening protocols both to prevent lice and to control outbreaks

So what should you do? What if your child doesn’t have lice and you want to keep them from getting it?

How to Prevent Lice in Daycare?

Prevent Lice in Daycare

Daycare is often a place that children younger than 5 spend a majority of the time, especially when both parents work outside of the home. Your child likely has developed close friendships with other children they see there on a daily basis, and since children of this young age are often learning social skills, it can be difficult to keep them from contracting a case of lice. The most common way of transmitting lice is direct head to head contact with another person who has an active infestation. To prevent head lice in day care aged children, you should do your best to educate your child about not sharing brushes, hats, or other hair accessories. Outside of that, our best recommendation is to send your child to daycare with artificially dirty hair by applying LiceDoctors Peppermint Repellent Spray, mousse, hairspray, or gel. Children with long hair should keep their hair tied up to minimize available contact areas for lice to grab ahold of.

What to Do If Already Have a Lice Outbreak in Daycare?

If there is already a lice outbreak at daycare, there are a few things to include in your lice at daycare what-to-do list. First, start by checking your child, and continue to do so daily in a well-lit area - this will ensure any infestation is caught early resulting in a less strenuous treatment process. Second, follow the prevention tips in the previous heading. Third, especially when there is a lice outbreak in daycare, maintain good communication with your child’s daycare facility regarding outbreaks in your home, or in the classroom. Fourth, encourage your daycare center to bring in a lice professional who can determine who has lice and either send those children home or treat those who are contagious.

Daycare Lice Tips

Daycare Lice Tips

Head lice and daycare can be a nightmare for daycare professionals. While controlling a lice outbreak at your daycare facility can prove to be challenging, it is not impossible and there are a few things to include on your lice in daycare what-to-do list. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Discourage daycare workers from playing with children’s hair.
  • Ensure hair care items for children are only used on the child for which they are intended.
  • Inform parents immediately if their child has lice or if another child in the facility is found with an active case of lice.
  • Remember, bugs are contagious, eggs are not - if you decide to allow children with eggs only to remain in school, monitor these children carefully.
  • Encourage parents to send their children to daycare with their hair tied up if they have long hair.
  • Encourage daycare workers to keep their hair tied up.
  • Schedule regular classroom head checks.

Conclusion

LiceDoctors recommends that your daycare center monitor every case of head lice in the room. If your child has lice, call us at 800-224-2537. LiceDoctors can make a call directly to your home and treat your family and can also go to the daycare center and perform checks and treatments on the kids. Head lice are very contagious and will not go away by themselves. For more information on head lice and preschool be sure to check out our Education Center.

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