According to the Texas Department of State Health Services’ (DSHS) web site, each school district can set its only policy regarding head lice. In an area as large as Houston and surrounding communities, there will be some varying criteria once a student has been treated for head lice. The DSHS states that it is concerned that schools that have a “no nit” policy “will place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on pediculosis management rather than on other more legitimate health concerns which should be of a higher priority. This over emphasis can lead to unproductive use of time by school staff and parents, missed classes, unnecessary absences, and parents missing work.” Schools in the Houston area generally do not have “no nit” policies, but they do send students with live lice home for treatment.
More information: www.dshs.state.tx.us
Students with head lice must be sent home to be treated. Once the child has been treated he or she will be readmitted to school as long as there are no live lice. “Hundreds of days are missed each school year because of head lice infestation. A child found to have lice must be excluded from school until treated with an effective pediculicide shampoo. Upon returning to school, parents must bring the child to the school nurse to recheck the student’s hair. The bed sheets, blankets, pillows, and the entire home environment should be treated as well. If you, the parent, find head lice in your child’s hair, please inform the school nurse as soon as possible. Follow up screening will be done in your child’s classroom. Lastly, teach your child not to share combs, brushes, hats or scarves with anyone.”
More information: www.houstonisd.org
Conroe School District
Conroe schools advise families on how to eliminate lice and then allow students to return to school after treatment.
“Head Lice: Head lice, although not an illness or a disease, is very common among children and is spread very easily through head-to-head contact during play, sports, and when students share things like brushes, combs, hats and headphones. If careful observation indicates that a student has head lice, the school nurse will contact the student’s parent to determine whether the child will need to be picked up from school and discuss a plan for treatment. After the student has undergone one treatment, the parent should check in with the school nurse to discuss the treatment used. The nurse can also offer additional recommendations, including subsequent treatments and how best to get rid of lice and prevent their return.”
More information on head lice can be obtained from the TDSHS Web site at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/lice.shtm.
As with the aforementioned schools, schools in Pearland send children with live lice home to be treated. Once a child has been treated he or she may return to school.
“Head lice – A child is excluded from school until treated with an appropriate medicated shampoo. Upon returning to school, they must come to the clinic for a head check. It is important to develop a routine at home to check your child for lice.”
More information: www.pearlandisd.org
Pasadena School District
Pasadena schools also allow children with nits to return to school after treatment, but students with live lice will be sent home. “Many parents feel embarrassed when their child has lice. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who can offer extra help. The nurse at your child’s school, your physician and even the pharmacist can help. Neighborhood, city or county health clinics may provide trained, helpful professionals. Contact your area Department of State Health Services public health region for suggestions.”
More information: www1.pasadenaisd.org
“Head Lice are not a public threat, they do not carry communicable disease. The Texas Department of State Health Services does not track cases of head lice in schools. Currently, the district recognizes that an active head lice infestation may create a difficult learning environment for the affected student(s) and as a result, the district maintains a program to identify and eliminate live head lice.
Head checks are made whenever symptoms are noted to be present. Parents are notified immediately if their children have evidence of live head lice. Parents are encouraged to promptly pick up their child and treat the condition. If the parent cannot come for his/her child, the telephone number of a relative, neighbor, or friend who can must be on file in the school office. Parents should contact their medical provider for methods of treatment.
A parent should accompany the child to school upon his return. The child must report to the clinic before going to class and is not cleared to return to class until their head has been rechecked by the nurse and found to be free of live lice. If any live lice are found in the child’s hair, he/she will be sent home until no evidence of live lice exists. Nit removal, though tedious, is the most effective way to eliminate lice.
Thank you for your help and cooperation, so that your child’s education will not be interrupted. The most effective screening occurs at home.”
More information: www.katyisd.org
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