Pennsylvania Department of Health
The Department of Health recommends that children with lice be sent home as soon as possible to be treated. The child may be re-admitted to school pending examination and approval by the school nurse.
“Legal Basis for Control of Head Lice:
Title 28, Health and Safety, Chapter 27., Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, Sections 27.71 (11), 27.72, 27.73 are the legal basis for excluding and re- admitting children to school in relation to pediculosis. 27.71 (11) specifically relates to head lice and provides for exclusion of students from school (public, private, parochial, Sunday, or other school or college or preschool) who have been diagnosed by a physician or are suspected of having pediculosis by the school nurse. As per Pennsylvania school code 27.71 (11) the student shall be allowed to return to either the school, childcare or other group setting immediately after first treatment. Readmission to class shall be contingent upon reexamination by the school nurse.
*Please note the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses discourage “No Nit policies” because no child should miss unnecessary school time due to head lice.
- The need for head lice screening will be determined and performed by the health personnel only.
- Based on the nurse’s discretion individual head lice checks will be performed either in the classroom or in the health room. A student found to have head lice must be treated in a professional, and confidential manner as not to embarrass or exclude them.
- In the event that 5 or more cases in the same classroom are found within a 48 hour period to have head lice, the nurse will then perform a classroom head check.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, school wide head lice screening programs have not been proven to have a significant effect on the incidence of head lice in the school setting over time, and are not cost effective. Therefore school wide screenings will be substituted with individual head checks of suspected and reported cases of head lice.
If a child is assessed as having active head lice, all attempts will be made to notify the parents or guardians and the child will be sent home. This will be done within a reasonable amount of time as determined by the health professional. If the parent or guardian is unable to be reached, the child will remain in the classroom until contact is made by the health professional.”
More information: www.dsf.health.state.pa.us
Harrisburg School District follows recommendations made by the American Academy as stipulated above. Children with head lice will be sent home to be treated and will return to school to be examined by the school nurse. If the school nurse finds only a few nits and no active bugs then the child may return to the classroom.
More information: harrisburgdistrict41-2.org
York Public Schools
Consistent with the above policies, children with head lice must be treated and checked by the school nurse before returning to school.
More information: www.yshs.k12.pa.us
Carlisle Public Schools
Carlisle specifies that the child should be isolated from classmates until treatment is concluded. The parent is contacted to pick up student immediately. Child is not allowed to ride home on the bus. School nurse will provide parents with treatment information. Nurse will examine all siblings.
After treatment and most nits have been removed the child must report to the nurse to be checked before riding the bus. After contacting the nurse the parent will accompany the child to to nurse. After the examination if the child is found to have live lice or no reduction in nits, he or she will not be readmitted. After the child has been cleared the nurse will continue to monitor the child because of risk of re-infestation as long as deemed necessary by nurse.
More information: www.carlisleschools.org
West Shore School District
This district has a policy in line with the recommendations of the Department of Health.
“A healthy child is a productive child. Our goal in the West Shore School District is to make the school experience as healthy as possible for your child. The school setting places children in close proximity to one another. This “proximity” exposes your child to head lice or pediculosis.
The head louse lays its eggs on the hair shaft near the scalp. A live louse and its eggs are most often found behind a child’s ears, in bangs and at the base of the neck. They look like a fleck of dandruff, but they do not come off the hair shaft unless you scrape them off with your fingernail. To help you deal with this common problem, the following preventative measures are suggested.
Be mindful of early warning signs such as head scratching or the appearance of white specks that remain in the hair. Check your child’s head at least once a week throughout the school year. Inspect your child’s head especially before and after a group activity such as a slumber party or camping activities.
Wash hats, scarves, hair ribbons, combs, brushes, and other hair accessories at least once a week. Remind your children not to share their hats, combs, brushes, barrettes, etc. Outer clothing that comes in contact with the head or neck should be washed frequently. Be sure to wash your child’s hair frequently. Notify neighbors, friends, or playmates who have been in contact with your child that your child had head lice and is being treated.In spite of all these precautions, your child may still get head lice. Head lice do not discriminate between “dirty” hair and “clean” hair. All children may contract head lice if appropriate conditions occur.
If you have questions about head lice, or if you find head lice in your child’s hair, please contact the school nurse or building principal immediately.”
More information: www.wssd.k12.pa.us
Central Dauphin School District
Students will not be allowed to return to school “until judged noninfective and nit free by the nurse in school, or by a child’s physician.”
More information: www.cdschools.org
North Lebanon School District
“It is best to keep your child home if he/she has any of the following symptoms:
Persistent itching of the scalp. (If you suspect that your child might
have head lice, call your school nurse to have your child checked
before he/she goes to the classroom.) Your child should remain at home until these symptoms are resolved or medically treated.
More information: www.norleb.k12.pa.us
While all of the schools in the Harrisburg area have very similar lice policies, we recommend that you check in with your school nurse to be sure that there have been no modifications to the policy. If you find that your child has head lice, give us a call at 717-686-9448 and an experienced lice technician will make a house call to you at your convenience.Learn About Our Lice Treatment Service in Harrisburg