Preventing Lice Infestation in the Child Care Center

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*Arrange the classroom to minimize contact and the sharing of clothing and other objects.
*Do not permit children to share clothing, hats, or hair accessories, or cots and linens.
*Store children’s sleeping mats and blankets in their individual cubbies, and wash them weekly.
*Wash and disinfect cots weekly, vacuum the carpets at least once a day, and do not use insecticides or other chemical treatments for head lice in the environment.
*Develop and implement a head lice control policy. Parents should receive information on this and other policies when their child enrolls in the center, and understand that such policies are to protect their child, and ensure quality child care.
*Notify the parents and prepare the child for pick-up if an infestation is discovered.
*Avoid making a big deal of the issue or making comments that may embarrass the child or parent (National Pediculosis Association, Inc., 1997).
*Notify all parents that lice infestation has been found and solicit help in eliminating the problem and preventing reinfestation.
*Check each child’s entire scalp and hair for lice and eggs. These checks should occur daily for two or three weeks as each child arrives.
*Children who have nits should be sent home for nit removal. Include information on how to check for lice in your regular staff training program.
*Carefully clean the center. Wash all dress-up clothes, linens, cots, and objects which the child may have contacted. Vacuum all carpets thoroughly.

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