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Lincoln Public Schools

Head Lice Policy

GUIDELINES FOR PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEAD LICE
 
Background
 
According to the Center for Disease Control, head lice is a common parasitic infestation most often affecting pre-school and elementary school children between the ages of three and twelve.  Females are affected more often than males probably due to more frequent head to head contact. Head lice do not transmit disease to humans. It is a minor health problem without serious health consequences to child. Although the potential for epidemic spread in a school setting is minimal, a head lice infestation can poise significant emotional and social challenges for staff, students and families.
 
Major health organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the National Association of School Nurses discourage policies and practices that call for exclusion from school of children with nits alone.
 
Parent-managed Head Lice Program
 
Parents/guardians have the primary responsibility for the detection and treatment of head lice. The school's staff will work in a consistent, collaborative and cooperative manner to assist all families to manage head lice effectively.
 
It is the expectation of parents/guardians of students attending the Lincoln Public Schools that:
  • Children's hair will be checked on a regular basis at home and especially at times a child has symptoms of possible infestation.
  • A child does not attend school with untreated live head lice.
  • A parent/guardian will notify school if their child is found to have live lice and advise when appropriate treatment has begun.
  • Parents/guardians of their child's friends will be notified in a timely way about an infestation so they have an early opportunity to detect and treat their children if necessary.
Health Office Staff will:
  • Distribute accurate information on the detection, treatment, and control of head lice to parents and staff as needed during the school year.
  • Include educational information and updates for parents in school newsletters
  • Maintain confidentiality when conducting head lice inspections.
  • Provide practical advise and maintain a sympathetic attitude and avoid stigmatizing or blaming families who are experiencing difficulties with control measures.
  • Promptly notify parents/guardians of students found with lice or nits.
  • Require students with live lice to receive treatment before re-admission to school.
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn about head lice to prevent infestations and to remove any stigma or bullying associated with the issue.
  • Provide age-appropriate education to students as needed.
 
Head Lice Procedures in the School Setting
  • Staff members are encouraged to refer any child/children to the Health Office if lice infestation is suspected.
  • All checks for head lice will be done in a way that will ensure confidentiality respecting a student's right to privacy.
  • A student with live lice shall be excluded from school at the end of the school day.
  • The student's parent/guardian will be notified. Educational materials including instructions for treatment will be given to a parent at time of exclusion, as needed.
  • Any excluded student must be checked by Health Office staff before re-admission to school.
  • A student who presents with no live lice may be re-admitted to school after a home treatment even if nits are present.
  • The school nurse will re-check the student periodically. If live lice are present, the student will be excluded at the end of the school day.
  • All classmates of the student found to have head lice will be checked and excluded according to the above guidelines. All siblings of the infected student who are in the school setting will be checked and excluded as necessary.
  • Parent/guardians of the infected student's classmates are sent an information letter encouraging them to check their child's head at home and to treat any infestation found before their child's return to school.

 

Last Modified on March 19, 2014
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