Head lice

As always, the school follows advice from the GGD (local council health authority) and the RIVM (the national Dutch Public Health and Environment agency).  The following page has been translated into English from Dutch:

Head lice spread easily, especially among children because children play with each other a lot and are often together. In principle, it does not matter how clean your child is, every child can get head lice.

Head lice are persistent!

The lice problem is rapidly spreading because head lice reproduce quickly. They lay about 250 eggs (nits) in a month. It is therefore important to act quickly before head lice becomes a persistent problem and children continue to infect each other.

What can you do yourself?

Lice in your hair? Just comb! If your child has head lice, it is recommended that you comb the hair daily with a nit comb for two weeks. The nit comb is the gentlest method for your child’s hair. Combing can optionally be combined with an anti-lice remedy. It is also important to check yourself and others.

In the past, it was recommended to wash everything that your child had used in the previous 48 hours, such as bedding, jacket, clothing, scarf, hat, teddy bears, and so on (at 60 degrees).

It was also recommended to hang the jacket or bag in a plastic bag on the coat rack at school, daycare, or a club. Evidence shows that this does not appear to be necessary. Daily combing with a nit comb for two weeks is sufficient.

Tips to prevent and treat head lice quickly

  • Regularly check your child’s hair and your own
  • Notify daycare, school, clubs and other parents
  • Disinfect, boil or throw away combs and brushes
  • Don’t lend out combs, brushes, hats or headscarves

Research shows that boys and girls who use gel or hairspray are slightly less likely to have head lice than boys and girls who do not use gel or hairspray. It also appears that head lice occur almost as often in secondary school as in primary school.