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Published September 26, 2011, 09:56 PM

Lice outbreak has parents on the lookout

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Class is barely in session, but officials are starting to see signs of head lice. One school in Detroit Lakes has dealt with almost a dozen cases. Now, it’s putting parents on the lookout.

Class is barely in session, but officials are starting to see signs of head lice. One school in Detroit Lakes has dealt with almost a dozen cases. Now, it’s putting parents on the lookout.

Jamie Pohl is watching as MacKenzie celebrates a day off from school at this Detroit Lakes playground. Students at Roosevelt Elementary don't have school because of teacher training. It may be a carefree day for the children, but Jamie and MacKenzie sat down for a serious conversation....about head lice, slightly spreading through Roosevelt Elementary.

Jamie Pohl – Concerned Parent: "I tried to explain to her that if she sees anybody excessively itching their head she needs to go privately tell her teacher."

10-12 Children were sent home after the nurse saw lice. So Jamie tells MacKenzie to be careful about sharing, especially when it comes to...

MacKenzie – Jamie’s Daughter: "Hats, coats, and mittens."

Jamie's on alert because the biting bugs are something she strives to avoid. She's been there, done that.

Jamie Pohl: "I think it was horrible going through three to four different steps trying to get rid of it all and the kids just hate it. They have to sit there, they can't do anything, and they can't play with other kids."

Jasmine Clark's battled the bugs herself....back in preschool. She says the itching was embarrassing.

Jasmine Clark – Had Lice When Young: "We had to put mayo in my whole head of hair. Gross."

Jasmine and Jamie say seeing head lice cases in schools is inevitable, so it's something they'll continue to watch for. Lice don’t jump from person to person, but spread through close contact, like sharing pillows, hats, headbands, and headphones.

The Roosevelt Elementary Nurse says 10 to 12 cases is nothing to worry about. It's a small sample, in a school of more than 2,700. Nurse Dawn Howitz says handling head lice is an easy process, from the school's standpoint. After they locate children with lice, and send them home until twenty four hours after treatments. It's a private matter, but she says nothing children should be embarrassed about.

Dawn Howitz – Roosevelt Elementary Nurse: "Well one misconception is head lice only happens to people who aren't clean. And that is not true. Lice in fact prefer clean hair."

She says even after treatments, there should be a follow-up treatment to make sure eggs, or knits, are gone.

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