Currently, the health rooms at LASD follow the recommendations of the PA Dept of Health, Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and National Association of School Nurses for the management of head lice. The purpose of this message is to explain some guidelines we follow in relationship to these regulations.
- If active lice or nits (eggs) are found, the parent/guardian is confidentially notified. Information is provided concerning proper treatment options and the parents are encouraged to pick their child up from school. Although immediate exclusion is not considered necessary, most parents are quick to arrive at school once they have been notified.
- Close contacts of treated students are identified and checked for infestation. Close contacts include students who have attended sleep-overs together, are involved in activities such as dance or sporting events, siblings, and other family members. Parents of children with head lice are encouraged to talk to other parents of close friends. Parents will not be informed of other children who have lice in school, as that is a privacy concern and the risk of getting lice from a classmate is very small.
- Students with lice are checked when they return to school, and as needed, to verify treatment has been and continues to be successful.
Susan Templin, School Health Consultant for the PA Dept. of Health, advises "head lice are not a health issue and students may remain in school until the end of the day and return after treatment". Head lice are common and will always exist in communities and schools. Education on this topic is key for the management and success of these regulations. Students should be encouraged not to share hats, combs, brushes, and other hair accessories. And, coats and jackets should be hung on classroom hooks, not piled on the floor. Over the past 12 years, multiple studies have proven the school is rarely the site of lice transmission and no-nit policies were based on emotional reactions, not on scientific evidence of lice transmission.
Resources have been attached to offer additional information.
Thank you for taking the time to read the articles.
Your School Nurses