Health Guidelines

Head Lice - Guidelines

May we remind you of the importance of regular screening of your child’s hair to prevent the spread of head lice. Schools are requested to adhere to the advice contained in the N.Ireland policy for the control of head lice. The most important points of the policy are reproduced below.

  • Head lice are only transmitted by direct, head-to-head contact.
  • Transmission of lice within the classroom is relatively rare. When it does occur, it is usually from a “best friend”.
  • The perception by parents and staff, however, is often that there is a serious “outbreak” with many of the children infected. This is hardly ever the case.
  • At any one time, most schools will have a few children who have active infection with head lice. This is often between 0% and 5%, rarely more.

Specific Points

  • School nurse will no longer carry out head inspections on groups of children. This has not been shown to be effective, and is an ineffective use of nursing resources.
  • Treatment should be applied only when live lice are found.
  • Concerned parents can seek advice from the school nurse (tel: 028276 61874 term-time only), the local pharmacist or their family doctor.
  • It is recommended that “Alert letters” should not be sent out to parents.