Lice Update
Sunday, December 12, 2010 10:25 PM


Dear parents,


As you know, there has been an increase in the number of lice cases being reported at Lake Harriet.  The preventative measure of using plastic bags to put coats, hats and scarves into has been implemented in the primary grade classrooms with multiple cases.  All students from affected classrooms with long hair should tie their hair back for the rest of 2010.  There are other measures that you, as parents, should take to decrease your child’s likelihood of cross contamination. 


1.  If you find lice in your child’s hair, please notify the school, and club or group that your child belongs to so parents can watch for it with their children.  This is not only necessary, part of Minneapolis policy, but it is the considerate and responsible thing to do. 


2. Education- I recommend that all households visit Lake Harriet’s Health Services website and view the instructional videos on lice.  


3.  Since some lice have become resistant to treatment, more than one method of therapy is recommended.  The following therapies are options and information on these can be found under Communicable Diseases on Lake Harriet’s Health Services website. 


  • Olive Oil- Review the 5 Step Battle Plan
  • Cetaphyl Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • You may want to explore/consider the Robi Comb.
  • For additional information on lice, click on the link under Communicable Diseases on Lake Harriet’s website to the MN Department of Health.  You will find more information on lice and even discussion of alternative therapies.


4.  Nightly nit picking for 3 weeks is required.  Consider this quality time with your child!  I understand that Ulta Beauty supply stores sell wonderful nit picking combs but your local pharmacy would have them too. 


5.  Consider misting your child’s tied back hair every morning before school with tea tree oil diluted in a mist bottle.  It is thought that lice do not like the smell of tea tree oil so it acts as a deterrent.  Tea tree oil is available at the Co-op. 


6. Consider tying your child’s hair back for the rest of the academic year. 


7. If your child attends Spanish or other before/after school activities, please instruct your child NOT to throw his/her coat, hat, scarf, or mittens in a heap on the floor with other coats.  Please provide your child with his/her own garbage bag to put their outer wear in.  Practice this with your child.  Dery Vinnoli, head of the Spanish Program, will be sending out an e-mail to the parents of students in her program for discussion of coat/hat/mitten/scarf management under lice conditions.


8. If there are multiple cases of lice reported in one room, the school nurses will attempt to examine children from that room.  Parents should understand that they are our first line of defense, not the school nurse.  It is very easy to miss one nit/louse in 28-31 heads, especially when we are also seeing sick/injured children in-between.  When a lice letter comes home, please check your child’s hair every night for 3 weeks and then once a week for the rest of the school year.  If everyone does their part, we can minimize this life inconvenience.


Remember that lice are not life threatening, that lice can happen to anyone, and that it is just an unfortunate life hassle.   




Kathy Frey, RN, Licensed School Nurse

Janet Kautz, LPN