Relevant Health Topics

Head Lice

According to the CDC, Head Lice are found worldwide and an estimated 6-12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3-11 years of age. Head Lice is typically spread by head to head contact with someone with lice. Spreading lice by contact with clothing or other personal items is uncommon. 

To control head lice, West Perry has adopted the following administrative guidelines. 

Students in the West Perry School District determined to have head lice infestation upon examination shall be removed from the classroom and sent home.  An infestation is determined by looking closely through the hair and scalp for the presence of nits, nymphs or adults.  If crawling lice are not seen, the presence of nits within a 1/4 inch from the scalp confirms that a person is infested and therefore, should be treated.

Parents are advised to treat the person and other family members with head lice with medication to kill the lice.

Treat the infested person:  Use either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication. Follow these steps.

  1. Before applying treatment, remove all clothing from the waist up.

  2. Apply lice medicine according to label instructions.  If your child’s hair is longer than shoulder length, you may need to use a second bottle of pediculicide. Pay special attention to instructions regarding how long the medication should be left on and whether rinsing the hair after treatment is recommended. WARNING:  Do not use a cream rinse or combination shampoo/conditioner before using lice medication. Don’t re-wash hair for 1-2 days after treatment.

  3. Put on clean clothing after treatment.

  4. If a few live lice are found 8-12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before treatment,

  5. do not retreat.  Comb dead and remaining live lice out of the hair.  It may take longer for the medication to kill the lice.

  6. If after 8-12 hours after treatment, the lice are still as active as before, the medication may not be working.  See your health provider for a different medication.

  7. Check hair and comb with nit comb every 2-3 days to remove nits and lice.  Continue to check for 2-3 weeks until you are sure all lice and nits are gone.

  8. If using OTC preparations, re-treat in 7-10 days.  If using the prescription drug Malathion, retreat in 7-10 days ONLY if crawling lice are found.

Treat the household: Head lice do not survive long if they fall off a person and can’t feed. Follow these steps to prevent re-infestation. 

  1. Machine-wash all washable clothing and bed linens that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment. Use hot water (130 F) cycle.  Dry laundry on high heat for at least 20min.

  2. Dry clean clothing that is unable to be washed  (coats, hats, scarves, etc). ALTERNATIVELY, Store all clothing, stuffed animals, comforter, etc., that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned into a plastic bag; seal for 2 weeks.

  3. Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in rubbing alcohol, Lysol, or wash with soap and hot (130 F) water.

  4. Vacuum floors and furniture. Vacuum the places where the infested person usually sits or lays. Do not use fumigant sprays.  Re-infestation from a louse that has fallen onto furniture or a carpet is very small.

After treatment is completed, the student shall be re-examined by the school nurse and returned to class.

The CDC's General Information on Head Lice provides FAQs about Head Lice and Head Lice Treatment. Additionally, the Head Lice Information for Schools specifies how a school should respond to the discovery of Head Lice.
This Head Lice Photo Gallery provides assistance in identifying head lice.

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) can be caused by a bacteria, virus or allergy.  It can be very contagious and needs to be diagnosed by a physician to determine whether medication is needed.  

Your school nurse may request you have your student seen by a physician prior to returning to school.  If medication is prescribed, your student may return to school 24 hours after medication is started. is a very helpful resource that provides detailed information about conjunctivitis. 

Sun Exposure and Protection

Did You Know?

  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon.

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 1 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually.

  • It is estimated that one American dies every hour from skin cancer.

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

  • Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for young adults 15-29 years old.

  • The incidence of many common cancers is falling, but the incidence of melanoma continues to rise significantly, at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers.

  • Whether from the sun or an artificial source, ultraviolet radiation is known to cause cancer.

An easy way to remember sun safety awareness is to Slip! Slop! Slap!...and Wrap — slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses. 

Sun Safety Packing List

  • A wide-brimmed hat 

  • A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or higher (in your checked luggage if you are travelling via airline)

  • Sunglasses

  • Lip balm

  • An umbrella

  • Long-sleeved, light-weight shirts and pants

  • A list of museums/other in-door sites to visit during the sun’s peak UV hours (between 10 and 4)

Ticks and Tick borne Illness

Pennsylvania Department of Health cautions all residents to take precautions against tick bites while participating in outdoor activities.  Ticks are most active between the months of May through September but can be found year-round.  Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation in Lyme disease incidence (57.4 per 100,000 persons), over six times higher than the overall national rate.  There are also several other tick borne diseases reported in the state.   To avoid being bitten by ticks

  • walk in the center of trails and avoid areas with high grass or leaf litter

  • use repellent that contains at least 20% DEET on exposed skin.  Use products that contain 0.5% permethrin on clothing

  • wear light-colored clothing, which will make it easier to see crawling ticks

  • conduct full-body tick checks (including pets) after spending time in tick habitat

  • bathe or shower within 2 hours after coming indoors

If you find an attached tick, you should promptly remove it using fine-tipped tweezers.  The Centers for Disease Control provides guidance on the removal of ticks at