811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560
For 24/7 Mental or Public Health Emergencies, call 630-553-9100
Mon 8:30am - 4:30pm  •  Tue - Thu 8:30am - 7:00pm  •  Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm

Head Lice (Pediculosis Capitis)



Pediculosis Capitis, the head louse which infests the hair on the head.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
  • Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of the head louse.
  • Irritability and difficulty sleeping; head lice are most active in the dark.
  • Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected with bacteria found on the person's skin.
  • Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly.
  • Head-to-head contact with an already infested person.
  • Dogs, cats, and other pets do not play a role in the spread of head lice.
Period of Communicability
  • Head Lice cannot survive long without a HUMAN host.
  • To live, adult lice need to feed on blood several times daily.
  • Without blood meals, the louse will die within 1 to 2 days off the host.
Helpful Hints
  • The life cycle of the head louse has three stages: egg, nymph, and adult.
  • Nits are head lice eggs. Nits take about 1 week to hatch (range 6 to 9 days).
  • The egg hatches to release a nymph, they become adults in about 7 days after hatching.
  • The adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has 6 legs (each with claws), and is tan to grayish-white in
Preventive Measures
  • See "Administrative Guidelines for Dealing with Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice) for School Personnel".
  • Conduct periodic head lice screening throughout the school as indicated and examine siblings, close friends and playmates of the  infested student.
Implications for School


  • Exclude any student with live lice or nits.
  • Student must be accompanied by parent/guardian for a follow-u p head check by school personnel for clearance to return to school.
  • If Head Lice becomes chronic or persistent, a referral to the school social worker is needed.



Parents are expected to accompany students to school for re-inspection by school staff/nurse before a student may re-enter school. You must continue to remove nits or in 7 to 10 days they will hatch and live lice will be present again. Students are allowed a total of 5 excused absences for the treatment of head lice. The principal will make a referral to the school Social Worker if the problem persists or becomes chronic. The school social worker will make an assessment of the situation and follow-up as appropriate.

Serving the Residents of Kendall County Since 1966
811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560   •   630-553-9100