The School Nurse Lice Battle Plan

As a school nurse, I get calls from parents that start off with something like this: “My daughter caught head lice from school again and I want to know what you are doing about it!” We nurses are always busy doing three things:

  1. Doing it
  2. Charting it
  3. Holding it

Let me explain: We do our tasks (#1), we document what we did (#2) and we do the pee pee dance the whole time (#3 -- get it? “Holding it?” -- Okay -- bad joke). In all seriousness, I suggest that you (if you are a school nurse) keep a lice log (downloadable). What I am looking for are patterns. Is the lice prevalent in a particular classroom? Who are the children who are persistently showing up with head lice? You know, those kinds of things. The lice log will allow me, as the school nurse, better identify the children who are persistently positive for pediculosis. Often the persistently positive child will have nits running down the length of hair from base to mid length (human hair growth is about 1.25 centimetres or 0.5 inches per month). Don’t take offense from these parent’s accusatory demeanor; they are tired and exacerbated all at the same time about head lice -- they have been fighting it for months and months. There are two reasons for persistent head lice:

  1. They did not kill all the lice in the first place
  2. They are picking up head lice from another (reliable) source.

Reason #1 is a no-brainer: Follow The Lice Battle Plan and you’ll be done with this possibility. However, when dealing with the possibility of reason #2, you’ll have to put on your investigator hat (but make sure it’s yours and you are not borrowing anyone else’s headwear). What do I mean when I say, “They are picking up head lice from another (reliable) source?” Using the 4 “attacks” from this first day’s “battle,” you’ll be able to complete your 21-day war against these bugs. Remember, you only have 5 treatments to do (6 if you do not use a Pediculicide).

Here’s a summary of the School Nurse Lice Battle Plan

Day 1 - Battle #1:

  1. Go Shopping
  2. Attack #1 - Use a Pediculicide (Lice Shampoo)
  3. Attack #2 - Olive Oil Treatment
  4. Attack #3 - Clean the Environment
  5. Attack #4 - Nitpicking

Day 2 - Battle #1.1: (Do Not do this day unless you are Pediculicide-Free).

  1. Attack #1 - Olive Oil Treatment
  2. Attack #2 - Nitpicking

Day 5 - Battle #2

  1. Attack #1 - Olive Oil Treatment
  2. Attack #2 - Nitpicking

Day 9 - Battle #3

  1. Attack #1 - Olive Oil Treatment
  2. Attack #2 - Nitpicking

Day 13 - Battle #4

  1. Attack #1 - Use a Pediculicide (Lice Shampoo)
  2. Attack #2 - Olive Oil Treatment
  3. Attack #3 - Nitpicking

Day 21 - Battle #5

  1. Attack #1 - Olive Oil Treatment
  2. Attack #2 - Nitpicking

It’s as simple as that!

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You’ve found lice on a head in your home. WHAT THE HECK!? Okay, don’t sweat. You’ve got this. Read this LICE BATTLE PLAN and get them bugs gone!!

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Learn more about lice. You have an 2-3% chance of lice coming into your home this year. The more you know about these pests the better prepared you’ll be.

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