Nurse's Corner » Head Lice Prevention

Head Lice Prevention

Head Lice Prevention Information

Each school year, the Cranford Public Schools provide basic information about the prevention and control of head lice as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and accessible through their website:  

Though cases of  head lice are often diagnosed in a school setting, the condition is usually acquired through direct head-to-head contact occurring elsewhere, such as at sleepovers, recreational activities, or camp. 

Head lice are not dangerous, and they do not transmit disease. Additionally, despite what you might have heard, head lice are not related to cleanliness of the person or his/her environment.

Head lice are spread most commonly by direct head-to-head (actually, hair-to-hair) contact. The risk of getting lice that has fallen onto a carpet or furniture is very small, since head lice survive less than 1 or 2 days when not attached to a person.

Roles & responsibilities for the prevention and treatment of head lice:

Student and Family



  • Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (playground, slumber parties, camp, sports and other recreational activities)

  • Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons or barrettes.

  • Do not share combs, brushes, towels.

  • Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with a person known to have head lice.

Detection and treatment:

  • Routinely check children's heads for lice

  • Call the school nurse if lice is detected. 

  • After treatment, continue to check the child's hair daily for 2 weeks.      Re-treat as directed.


  • Disinfect combs and brushes used by a person with head lice by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.


  • Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items such as towels, hats, stuffed animals, etc. that a person with head lice wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle.  Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.


  • Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the person with head lice sat or lay. However, it is not necessary to spend time and money on house cleaning activities, as this is not necessary to avoid re-infestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.


  • Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs, as they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.


  • School/district

  • The School Nurse will appropriately examine siblings and close contacts of the student found to have lice.  Those with live lice or nits will be excluded for treatment.


  • In the event that one or more students are identified in a K-Grade 5 class, a letter and an email notification will be disseminated to each of the parents/guardians in that class.


  • Additionally, a letter and email notification will be disseminated to the parents/guardians of any close contacts who were screened.


  • Before returning to school, the School Nurse will examine the student after treatment to ensure there is no evidence of live lice or nits.