School Newsletters


Dear Matoska Families,


This is the time of year when we frequently see an uptick in lice occurring in the community.  Please remember that head lice can infect anyone, anywhere, and is not a sign of being dirty.   We wanted you to be aware so you can be on the lookout.  While having lice is not considered a health problem,  we know it can be very frustrating and difficult to treat.  

For further information please refer to the MN Department of Health website at, or the American Academy of Pediatrics website at .  This is a video resource that may also be helpful.

Head lice spread quickly, so please be aware of the following: 

  1. How head lice are spread:

    • By direct contact with a person who has head lice. The insects can move quickly, but do not fly or jump. 

    • It is not likely, but lice may also spread by sharing personal items such as combs, brushes, hair accessories, hats, scarves, jackets, sweaters, towels, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, etc. 

  1. What to look for: 

    • Itching of the scalp that doesn’t go away. 

    • Small whitish, teardrop shaped eggs (nits) attached to individual hairs that are difficult or impossible to remove. Be careful not to confuse the nits with such “look-alikes” as dandruff or hair spray droplets that can be brushed off the hair shaft easily.

    • Tiny brownish insects (lice) that are usually found close to the scalp, which are flat in shape, measure 1/10 to 1/8 inch in length and have short, thick legs.

  1. How a case of head lice is treated: 

    • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a lice control product, either an over-the-counter product (may only be partially effective) or a medical prescription. 

    • Remove all nits. Nit combs are the most effective way to find and remove nits, but if you do not have one, use your fingernails to pull the nits off the hair shafts and then clean your fingernails. Check through the hair daily for up to 2 weeks or until you stop seeing nits. (They will be very near the scalp and extremely hard to remove from a strand of hair.)

    • It may be  necessary to repeat the treatment in 7-10 days. If live lice are seen 48 hours after treatment, retreat with a different lice control product. Also continue to comb hair with a nit comb daily to be sure to remove all eggs that may be present.

    • If you use a nit loosening product, be sure to follow the directions carefully. 

  1. How to attend to the environment: 

    • Wash all recently worn clothes and bed linens. Remember to include hats, and scarves. 

    • Whenever possible, place items in a dryer at high heat for at least 20 minutes. 

    • Clean combs and brushes by putting them in boiling water for 10 minutes or put in Ziploc bag for 2 days.

    • Vacuum rugs, upholstered furniture, mattresses and car seats.  However, extensive cleaning may not be necessary.  Lice can not survive off a human head for longer than 24-48 hours. 

    • Check all household members and treat as necessary. 

We would appreciate you informing the Health Office if your child has head lice, this will help us keep the community informed (651) 653-2857.  

John Leininger