Head Lice


Read the fact sheet to the right of this page for more important headlice information.

All parents should check their children and other family members for head lice regularly as early detection decreases treatment time and helps break the breeding cycle.

The most effective way to detect head lice is by using the hair conditioner and combing method. You will need white coloured hair conditioner, an ordinary comb, a fine tooth head lice comb and white tissue/kitchen towel.

Apply sufficient white conditioner to dry hair to completely cover the scalp and hair from roots to tips.

Use an ordinary comb to detangle hair and evenly distribute the conditioner. Divide the hair into four sections.

Comb hair from root to tips using a fine tooth head lice comb. 

After each stroke, wipe the comb onto a white tissue, checking the comb and tissue for head lice.

Comb the whole head, checking for lice.

Put all tissues in a plastic bag, tie the top and put the bag in a rubbish bin.

All members of the family/household should be checked once per week using this method as long as infestation remains within the household.

If you find your child has headlice, please notify the school.

We do not exclude students with headlice from class or school, but a parent may choose to remove their child from school to administer immediate treatment.


Wet-combing treatment

  1. Apply lots of conditioner to your child's wet hair. Rub it into the scalp and along the hair shafts.
  2. Leave the conditioner on for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Use the special lice comb to remove the conditioner from your child's hair. 
  4. Comb your child's entire head thoroughly at least twice.

While there is no need to vacuum, wash or treat with insecticide any furniture, clothing, bedding (except pillowcases), toys, carpets or hats, the following actions can be taken to help prevent infestation/re-infestation:

Avoid head to head contact with other persons.

Keep long hair tied back or in plaits, especially at school.

Do not share brushes, combs, or pillows.

Wash combs and hair brushes after each use (60oC for 30 seconds).

Pillow cases of persons known to be infested should be washed daily on hot cycle or put in the clothes dryer for 15 minutes.

Treat all household members whose head lice have been detected.

Keep hair short, particularly during an outbreak. It is easier to detect and treat head lice in short hair.

Notify the school so that others can be alerted to the problem and can check for head lice and arrange treatment if necessary.​


Last reviewed 16 July 2021
Last updated 16 July 2021