Head lice is a significant nuisance, however does not transmit disease to humans. Historically, head lice policies in schools emphasized that a child infested with head lice could not return to school until no nits were found in their hair (“no-nit” policy). There is no evidence that a no-nit policy prevents or shortens lengths of outbreaks. This evidence is in alignment with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.
Wiseburn Unified School District has recently developed a new head lice policy which is in alignment with these research-based findings. The essential components of this policy are:
· Early detection of head lice infestations through routine screenings by parents and/or caregivers
· Treatment of children found to have active/live lice
· Distribution of educational material to school staff and parents on head lice, nit combing, and treatment
DETECTION-Parents are responsible for detecting head lice. Symptoms include excessive itching of the scalp and/or frequent scratching. If head lice are detected at school, the parents will be notified and the child will stay in school until the end of the day. Parents will be given information on how to treat head lice.
TREATMENT-Student must be treated for head lice that day and can return to school the next morning. Before going to class, the student will first need to be examined by the school nurse, health clerk, or office staff, to ensure they no longer have active/live head lice. The student can return to class if no live lice are found. If active lice is found the following day, the child will be sent home as this indicates that treatment was not effective or completed.
Please remember that you need to be diligent with using a nit comb to remove nits (lice eggs). As the brochure states, the best way to get rid of head lice is to comb their hair every day with a nit comb for two weeks. This will ensure all nits and any live lice are removed.