Arizona Schools Head Lice Policy
School head lice policies are determined on a district by district basis. Very often neighboring towns have very different policies regarding infested students entry into schools. No place is more illustrative of this point than Arizona school districts. The Arizona Department of Health Services advocates for a qualified “no nit” policy in schools. The Department of Health states, ” No-nit policies are important today in the light of increasing reports of pediculicide treatment failure. However, no-nit policies should be enforced with discretion.
Even the most diligent parents will miss a few nits after long bouts of nit- picking. It is not justifiable to exclude a child from school based on the presence of a few “old” nits that are far removed from scalp line…On the other hand, finding “new nits” close to the scalp, or finding many nits (indicating that the parent did a poor job of nitpicking) may be enough justification to send a child home again.”
This advice is gray enough that the Phoenix school system and neighboring Scottsdale school district have very different head lice policies.
Phoenix School District – No Nit Policy
The Phoenix school district has an absolute “no nit” policy.
“Any pupil having head lice will be sent home. The child will be excluded from school until the child’s hair is free of lice and nits.The pupil,upon returning to school,must be accompanied by an adult and must report to the nurse’s office where a detailed examination will be made. If there is no evidence of active lice or nits the nurse will issue her signed approval of reentry.”
Scottsdale School District – Same Nit Policy As CDC
To the contrary the Scottsdale public school district follows the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Association of Pediatricians.
“No disease is associated with head lice, and in-school transmission is considered to be rare. It is the position of the CDC, NASN and SUSD that the management of pediculosis should NOT disrupt the educational process. Students with nits only should NOT be excluded from school, although further monitoring for signs of re-infestation is appropriate.”
Gilbert School District – No Nit Policy
The Gilbert Arizona school district maintains a head lice policy that is similar to that of the Phoenix school district. “No students detected with live lice are allowed to remain at school. GPS continues to maintain a “no-nit” policy that states “no student may attend school if nits (egg sack) are detected on the hair shaft”. The student must be readmitted to school via the health office only after a head inspection post-treatment for lice. Frequent classroom head checks are not recommended or effective.”
Tucson – No Nit Policy
Tucson Arizona schools also maintain a “no nit” policy. The school policy is very outdated as they recommend the use of a chemical shampoo and they say that “in most cases the child should be able to return to school within five days.” First of all, we know that in many cases the chemicals don’t work as the lice have mutated and are resistant to the chemicals. Second, why wait up to five days to return to school, when LiceDoctors Lice Removal Service removes the nits so that in almost every case your child can return to school the next day? We suggest that parents in Tucson question this policy.
Ask Your School To Be Safe About Head Lice Policy
The best advice that we at LiceDoctors can give you is find out from your school what your district head lice policy is. It is still a very controversial topic, with no easy answers. Most school districts list their head lice policy on the school website.
Learn more about how you can get help removing lice from your family.