Each year we get about 1 or 2 reports of Head Lice affecting players.
And we have had a report this year.
The School Nurses have been notified and they are doing their checks, but we would like to notify our parents.
This is also a reminder to check your players head whenever they share helmets and maybe hats/visors.
Head lice are parasites which infest human hair. These parasites are a social nuisance, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and most medical experts, lice cannot carry or transmit any disease or serious ailment to humans. They also do not manifest into epidemics, but can be passed between people where a few or more can become carriers. The lice cannot fly or jump, but make their way from one person to another through close human contact. The lice lay eggs (called nits) which attach to the shaft of hair strands. The nits may take between 6-10 days to hatch into actual lice. Some cases cause itchy scalps.
The sharing of baseball and softball equipment has been discussed as a potential way for transmitting head lice between people. Consider this statement from the Harvard School of Public Health: “Shared helmets and headphones in schools or recreational settings may rarely and transiently harbor an occasional louse or nit; the effort necessary to effectively inspect and clean these devices, however, is not likely warranted.” And from the CDC Website "Head lice are spread most commonly by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Spread by contact with inanimate objects and personal belongings may occur but is very uncommon. Head lice feet are specially adapted for holding onto human hair. Head lice would have difficulty attaching firmly to smooth or slippery surfaces like plastic, metal, polished synthetic leathers, and other similar materials."
Brushes and combs are, however, cited by many experts as a more likely method of lice transmission because they may actually move the lice from the afflicted person.
Still, however unlikely transmission of lice from one player to another sharing a helmet, it is important to the Canastota Little League that parents, coaches and players are comfortable and feel secure from such nuisances.
Therefore, it is Canastota Little League policy that:
Parents should check their children regularly for lice/nits.
Parents must notify the team manager if their child has lice.
No chemicals or sprays of any kind should be used on any equipment for any reason.
If parents chose to purchase their child’s own helmet, it must be NOCSAE approved with the seal on the helmet. These personal helmets should not be shared among players on the team. Stickers are not allowed on personal helmets.
Any player with lice/nits will use a separate helmet from the rest of the team, with the manager ensuring the dignity of the player throughout the condition.
Players should never share hats, jackets, etc.
Helmets, hats, jackets etc. should not be left on top of one another or in close proximity.
All managers will discuss this lice control statement with all team parents and guardians.
If you have questions or concerns regarding lice or any other safety or health issue involving Canastota Little League, please e-mail the Safety Officer or contact any team manager or official.
You should also contact your child’s school nurse or your doctor for more information.
Additional information can be found on the CDC Website