School Head Lice Policies in Providence, Rhode Island and Surrounding Areas
In accordance with recommendations by The Centers for Disease Control, American Association of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses, the Rhode Island Department of Education has issued the following policy with respect to head lice:
- “Conduct a single round of lice checks at the beginning of the school year to detect children entering school with infestation:
- Send children who have head lice home at the end of the day with an educational pamphlet on lice and nits for the parent, and detailed instructions for two-step (optionally day 0 and day 7 to 10) home treatment and nit removal
- Children may return to school as soon as the first treatment is completed.
- Do not fumigate classrooms, school buses, etc. This is expensive and unnecessary
- Do not check for nits (dead or alive) or enforce a no-nit policy for those who have been treated. It is not productive.
- Repeated rounds of mass screening are not recommended.
- In the rare event of a major uncontrolled lice outbreak, implement a protocol for aggressive control:
- Notify of parents of all children in the school to educate them about lice and to watch their children for infestation.
- Implement environmental measures such as separating headgear and jackets.
- Ensure treatment is completed prior to having children return to school for diagnosed cases of infestation
- Do not tell a parent to treat “just in case”. The shampoos can be toxic and may cause health problems.
- A strict no-nit (head lice) policy is neither necessary nor effective – it only deprives the children of educational time.”
Rhode Island Schools on Trend With Head Lice Policies
Public schools in Rhode Island are on trend with head lice policies. Increasingly schools across the country are dropping their no nit policies as they believe that these policies are depriving children of important classroom time and are not effective in deterring the spread of head lice. The National Pediculosis Association in Newton, Massachusetts is opposed to this more lenient policy as they advocate that these policies are, in fact, encouraging the spread of head lice.
Private Schools in Rhode Island have their own lice policies. The first two schools in Providence follow the guidelines issued by The Centers for Disease Control as indicated above, while the third school has a more restrictive policy.
Lincoln School | 301 Butler Avenue | Providence, RI 02906
Head Lice Procedures:
- If you discover your child has head lice, please call or e-mail the school nurse as soon as possible. The nurse can assist you with information and resources.
- An e-mail containing information and links on how to address and prevent further occurrences will be sent home to the involved classes. No student is ever identified during this process.
- If requested by the parent of the child with head lice, that child’s head will be checked 7 days after initial treatment, and again 1 week later, until clear.
- If you receive an email regarding lice in your child’s classroom, please check your child’s head that day, and again every 2 days for 2 weeks. If you aren’t sure how to do this, or what to look for, there are excellent websites with instructions to use for reference, or you can call the school nurse for help.”
The Wheeler School- 216 Hope St. Providence, RI 02906
“What happens if the nurse finds head lice on my child:
If live lice are seen, the nurse will call you and ask you to come to the health center to pick up your child. If nits are found, but no live lice, the nurse will call you and review the treatment recommendations. If helpful to the parent, the nurse will check the head with the parent to identify the signs of head lice noted. Follow the steps above for treatment of head lice.”
Brown/Fox Point Early Childhood Education Center, Inc. in Providence RI 02906
- “The first time we find nits in your child’s hair, we will call you immediately. Until you arrive for pick up, we will limit your child’s interactions with other children, doing
our best to provide developmentally appropriate activities during that time.
- Your child may return after completing treatment that has removed all lice and nits,
which we will confirm upon arrival the next day.
- If we find nits in your child’s hair on a subsequent day, or if we find a live louse in your child’s hair, we require that you pick up your child immediately for treatment”
Remember to check with your school nurse regarding the school head lice policy and schools occasionally modify their policies.