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Head Lice - Information for Healthcare Providers

Head lice is common among school-aged children. It can cause a great deal of stress for affected families. Because it is not a public health risk, but rather a nuisance condition, it is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to check their child(ren) regularly and treat their infested family members when lice are identified.


As a healthcare professional, when dealing with a family experiencing head lice, you can:

  • Remind parents/caregivers that children can get head lice from many different sources and the most important thing they can do is treat their own child and check other members of the family to reduce spread to others
  • Reassure the family that this nuisance is treatable
  • Emphasize the need to follow the directions specific to the chosen treatment product
  • Explain to the family that if they apply the treatment to hair that has been washed with a conditioning shampoo or rinsed with hair conditioner, it reduces the effectiveness of the treatment
  • Explain that metal nit combs may prove to be more effective than plastic ones for nit removal
  • Suggest that they call the school to inform them that their child has had head lice so that families of classmates can be informed of “a case” of head lice in the classroom so that all children will be checked for nits
  • Suggest that they call the school to ask about their school’s policy regarding returning to school after having head lice as each School Board has their own individual policy for this issue.
Date of creation: September 28, 2016
Last modified on: December 14, 2016

Patient Handouts

Both documents are available in
French and English


Programs and Services

If you or your patient have additional questions about head lice, a Public Health Nurse is available from the Middlesex-London Health Unit at our Health Connection telephone line.

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 2280
  • Monday - Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.