Teaching a class of elementary students carries many responsibilities. When you consider adding a case of head lice on top of those responsibilities, it makes sense to take simple steps ahead of time for preventing them altogether. If one child has an advanced case of head lice, it will likely mean you sending out a memo to the parents of every student in your classroom before long. Follow these tips for helping to prevent the spread of head lice in your classroom.
Watch For The Signs
Elementary school children are at an age where they do not have qualms about hiding an itchy scalp because of embarrassment, making it a lot easier for you to spot signs of head lice fast. If you see any of your students scratching their heads more than once in a day, check that child's hair and scalp for lice. Keep a magnifying glass in your desk drawer so you will have when you need to examine a child's scalp for lice. If you suspect a child does have lice, sending him or her directly home is advised. When you send home a note about the child having lice, consider sending trips for getting rid of them and the steps parents can take to prevent them from coming back. Educating parents about preventive steps is important.
Consider Your Room's Book Bag And Coat Storage Space
If your kids pile their coats on a table or they stack their book bags up in a corner of the room, rethinking your storage space is a good idea for preventing the spread of head lice. A wall shelf with several deep cubby holes is a good idea for book bag storage so that no two bags are touching one another. Installing coat hangers far enough apart so that coats hanging on them do not touch is a good idea. Lice crawl onto things, they do not fly so keeping the coats and book bags of your kids separated can help to prevent lice running rampant throughout your class. Making a rule in your class to never share hats or combs and brushes is a good idea.
Keeping Your Classroom Clean Matters
While the janitorial staff at your school vacuum and clean the classrooms, making sure the rugs you use in your class are cleaned regularly is important. If you have activities like circle time and all the kids sit on the rug, making sure it is cleaned on a regular schedule is important and can help you prevent the spread of lice. Lice love fabrics like carpeting and will be out of hand fast if one or two falls off a child's head and onto the rug.
When you have to send a student home because of lice, he or she misses important class time. By taking steps to aid inlice prevention in your classroom, you are also preventing students from missing instruction.