The following are the Nurse Protocols for the identification, treatment and management of head lice.
Head lice are small external parasites of the human host (generally heads). Head lice do not spread disease and do not hop or fly. They can, however, spread easily from one person to another. There are three forms of head lice: nits (eggs), nymphs (immature lice) and adults (lice). Symptoms of head lice infestation may include a feeling of something moving in the hair; itching caused by an allergic reaction to the bites; irritability; and sores on the head caused by scratching that can become infected.
No “No Nit” Policy
In accordance with the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics and in order not to disrupt the educational process, the Lakeland Central School District does not have a “no nit” policy. However, in the event of a widespread infestation, upon the recommendation by the School Physician, students with viable nits may be excluded from school until the infestation is managed.
When a possible case of head lice comes to the attention of the School Nurse, the following protocols shall be followed:
- Identify if active head lice exist (infested with live lice or viable nits);
- Maintain confidentiality;
- Contact parent/guardian;
- Screen siblings;
- Treatment at home as recommended by healthcare provider;
- All other family members should be examined. Only those infested should be treated. Parents are encouraged to notify families who may have been exposed.
- Educate the family regarding the importance of treatment and systematic combing to remove nits;
- Instruct family to wash clothing, linens in hot water that have been in contact with the head of the person with lice;
- Student will be rechecked on return to school and may be examined periodically thereafter.
- Screen the affected classroom;
- Remind students not to share combs, brushes, hats, etc.;
- Send informational letter home to inform parents/guardians of a “confirmed case” without identifying student, including tips on what to look for to affected class.
- Provide School Nurse telephone number in case the parent/guardian has any questions.
General information shall be provided in School Newsletter reminding parents to periodically check their child’s head and report any cases of head lice found to the School Nurse.
Message to Parents
The following is a suggested message to be sent to parents via e-news:
A student has been identified in the building with a case of head lice. Head lice are not a health hazard, do not spread disease or are a sign of poor hygiene. Head lice are usually transmitted by head-to-head contact, parents should carefully check a child’s head before and after a sleepover where children share sleeping quarters. Children should also be checked periodically at home and the school nurse should be called if head lice are found. Call your health care provider for best treatment. One percent permethrin lotion is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as initial treatment for most head lice infestations with a second application 7-10 days after the first.
Please inform the parents of your child’s playmates so that they can check their children’s head. As a precaution, the student’s class will be checked. A note will go home to inform the parents of that class.
See Lakeland Central School District website for further information.