Despite the fact that several school districts across the country are moving or have moved away from “no nit” lice policies, New Orleans schools all retain their “no nit” policies. New Orleans schools continue to maintain these strict policies as they adhere to the belief that a child with any stage of a case of head lice is potentially contagious and may pass that case along to fellow classmates.
The reason for the switch away from “no nit” policies that are seen in other districts outside of New Orleans area stems from revised recommendations from three key medical organizations: the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses. All three of these groups now recommend that children with nits be allowed to remain in school.
They even go so far as to suggest that children with live lice be permitted to remain in class until the end of the day at which point The organizations advocate that “no-nit” policies be discontinued for the following reasons:
- Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.
- The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
- The National Pediculosis Association in Newton, MA supports the “no nit” policies as they say that allowing children into school with head lice or nits encourages the spread from one student to another.
St. Tammany Parish School District Lice Policy
St. Tammany District retains its “no nit” policy and spells it out on its web site as, “If you should find head lice or nits(eggs)on your child at home, please notify the school or your child’s teacher. The child must have a note from the school nurse to be readmitted to school.
The St. Tammany Parish School Board policy states that if there are any nits remaining on the hair, the child will not be allowed back in school until they are removed.
Learn more at woodlakeelementary.stpsb.org
Orleans Parish School District Lice Policy
Orleans Parish School District policy, also a “no nit” policy stipulates, “If we are notified of or detect cases of lice, parents are informed. All parents are requested to examine their children for indications of infestation. Head scratching and intense itching of the scalp are the main indications of head lice, and their presence can be confirmed by a close visual inspection of the hair and scalp under a good light and magnifying glass. Look for tiny grayish crawling forms and/or tiny whitish oval eggs adhering to the hair shafts.
Head lice are generally transmitted from one person to another by direct personal contact and by sharing items such as combs and brushes, hats, scarves and coats. They do not normally spread disease, but they can spread rapidly throughout a community if preventative measures are not taken as soon as the lice or their eggs have been detected. Therefore, if a case is detected at school, we request that they child and any personal items that may spread lice, leave the school and not return until proper procedures of hair and environment are implemented. YOUR CHILD MUST BE LICE AND NIT FREE BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL.”
Learn more at www.nctq.org
St. Charles Parish School System
Consistent with the other local districts around New Orleans, St. Charles Parish School District has a “no nit” policy in place. The district’s policy is as follows: “For the effective control and treatment of head lice infestations in the St. Charles Parish Public School System, the following procedures will be followed by the school nurses.
- Conduct head lice screening procedure periodically in all grades K-6 or at the discretion of the principal.
- Exclude and refer for treatment all students with known infestation of lice until free of live bugs and presence of nits (lice eggs). Lice exclusions are excused absences up to six (6) days. When infestation exceeds six (6) days, a referral to an outside community resource will be made. Parents must pick up students immediately from school once a student is excluded. An exclusion form will be given to the parent.
- Instruct family regarding treatment and control. (Provide the form “Report to Parents”).
- If a student has a known infestation of lice, determine whether there are other siblings in the home attending school and then notify the nurse at the school.
- Students who are excluded and sent home for lice exclusions should be brought back to school and must be cleared by a school nurse before attending class.
Learn more at www.stcharles.k12.la.us
School District Lice Policies Updated Frequently
It is important to note that school district policies are reviewed fairly frequently. To be sure that you are aware of the most recent policy in your child’s school, please check with the school nurse. Regardless of what the policy is in your school district, you need to kill the lice in your child’s hair and remove all eggs (nits). If any nits are left in the hair, the case will continue. For help in eradicating head lice, call LiceDoctors for same day, all natural, in the home head lice removal service.Learn About Our Lice Treatment Service