According to the Ohio government web site:
“The nursing profession is moving toward evidenced-based practices. Updated guidance from CDC, AAP and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) should be incorporated into school policies. School nurses in each school district should collaborate with their local health departments and school administration to create and enforce consistent policy guidelines throughout the district. Policies should include the etiology of pediculosis, the mode of transmission, a description of the lice screening process, information about how the parents will be notified of an infestation, and the recommended treatment protocol… After the policy is implemented, it should be reassessed at regular intervals.
A successful pediculosis prevention program requires cooperation among school staff, public officials, and health professionals to make information available to the public. Policy decisions regarding head lice control are ultimately up to the facilities and institutions to establish. Involvement of the local health department is strongly encouraged to develop an effective control program for successful prevention of protracted outbreaks. All policies should be sensitive to the appropriate protection of personally identifiable health information in the school setting as well as minimizing stigma related to head lice infestations.
The school environment should be checked for potential means of louse transmission and changes recommended if necessary. Children should be taught not to exchange combs, brushes, clothing or blankets and pillows. School property such as gym towels, athletic equipment and costumes should not be passed from child-to-child unless they are properly cleaned. At the beginning of each school year, written information about head lice prevention can be sent to parents, describing what the school is doing to prevent infestation and suggesting what parents can do at home. School officials can also arrange for a presentation by local health professionals at a parent-teacher association meeting.
If such preventive guidelines are followed at summer programs such as sleep-away camps and daytime programs, children will be more likely to enjoy a louse-free summer, and there will be less risk of infestation when they return to school.”
Many School Districts Dropping “No Nit” Policies
To that end, many school district in Ohio, near Cincinnati, have dropped “no nit” policies per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
Learn more details at www.odh.ohio.gov
Brown County School District
The lice policy articulated by the Brown County school district typifies current recommendations of nearby school districts regarding admission to school with respect to children with lice and nits.
“Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice. Follow-up care includes checking for nits and lice for 14 days post-retreatment.
There is no problem readmitting children to school following the first treatment for head lice, even if nits remain. Head lice can be a nuisance, but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
Both the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that “School No-Nit” policies be discontinued. CDC indicates that “no-nit” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons:
Many nits are more than 1⁄4 inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as casings.
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.
Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by non-medical personnel.”
Learn more details at www.eb.k12.oh.usLearn About Our Private In Home Lice Treatment