Pediculosis or head lice are tiny grey to brown insects about the size of a sesame seed that live in human hair. Lice do not fly or jump, but do crawl. Lice eggs, called nits, are seen as tiny white objects that are “glued” to the hair and cannot be brushed off. Without a human host they can only live for about one or two days.
The management of pediculosis should NOT disrupt the educational process. No disease is associated with head lice and transmission within the school setting is rare. Transmission is most commonly seen among younger aged children who have head to head contact (Pre-K and Kindergarten aged children). (National Association of School Nurses Position Statement; “Pediculosis Management in the School Setting”)
Students found to have nits only will be allowed to stay in school. However, students who have live lice are to be excluded from school until after treatment. The school nurse should contact the parents and discuss treatment options. Students with live lice should remain in the classroom until parents arrive, to maintain the student’s dignity. By the time an infestation is discovered, the child has usually had them for 3-4 weeks. Therefore, it makes no sense to immediately exclude them from the classroom if live lice or nits are found. Scientific research on head lice has revealed that keeping students with eggs or even head lice out of school has no effect on the amount of head lice at school. Experts agree, “No-Nit” policies are detrimental to the emotional and educational status of students. As with many other issues concerning the children of Wilkes Co. Schools, privacy and confidentiality of those affected must be of utmost importance.
PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTING WILKES COUNTY’S POLICY REGARDING PEDICULOSIS (HEAD LICE)
THE FOLLOWING MEASURES ARE RECOMMENDED:
1-The school nurse will work closely with parents and children providing educational and emotional support. If head lice or nits (eggs) are found, the parent will be confidentially notified. The school nurse will provide information to the parents about proper treatment.
2-Parents will be asked to complete a treatment verification form and turn in proof of treatment. Knowing what strategies have been used to address the infestation will allow the nurses to better serve the needs of each individual student.
3-Parents will not be informed of other children in the school who have lice, as that is a privacy concern and the risk of getting lice from a classmate is minimal.
4-Students will be checked by the nurse 7 to 10 days later to support the efforts of parents at home.
5-Ongoing management of children with chronic head lice infestations will be handled by the school nurse.
Pediculosis/Head Lice—Parent Notification Letter
During a recent inspection, your child has been found to have one of the following:
___ Live lice and nits (eggs)
___ Only nits close (within ½ in.) to scalp
___ Nits along hair shafts
___ Other: ___________________________________________________
Pediculosis or head lice are tiny grey to brown insects about the size of a sesame seed that live in human hair. Lice do not fly or jump, but do crawl. Lice eggs, called nits, are seen as tiny white objects that are “glued” to the hair and cannot be brushed off. They are spread through close head to head contact and/or sharing of personal items (brushes, combs, hairbows). They can be transmitted from person to person regardless of personal hygiene. Persistent head lice infestations are mainly due to failure to remove all nits. Treatment for head lice is available over the counter at any pharmacy or prescribed by your doctor.
Your Child: Check when completed
___ Treat hair according to directions on head lice treatment product used.
___ Remove all live head lice and nits. USE A GOOD LIGHT.
___ No lice product is able to effectively kill all the nits. You must pinch the nits between your fingernails to pull them off the hair strand. Working in small sections of the hair is recommended.
___ Everyone in the family has been checked and treated if they have been found to have head lice. Continue to check your child’s and all family members’ hair daily for the next two weeks.
___ Tell your child’s daycare/friends/extended family so they can check and treat themselves, if necessary.
Your House: Check when completed
___ Wash (in hot water) and dry (on hottest heat setting) all clothing, bed linen, book bags, and jackets used by student/family members within the last three days.
___ Vacuum mattresses, carpets, upholstered furniture and car upholstery. Empty vacuum bag when done and discard in outside trash can.
___ Stuffed animals, pillows, or anything that can’t be washed must be placed in a tightly closed bag for 10 days.
___ Wash in hot water for at least 10 minutes OR throw away brushes, combs, barrettes, and bows. Instruct your child not to share these items, hats, or other articles that could come in contact with another student.
Adopted: April 23, 1996
Revised: August 1, 2016