School Lice Policies Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hills
Each school district in North Carolina is responsible for its own head lice policy.
As you can see below, every district has its own take on the head lice problem that confronts schools today and each of the 3 districts has a unique policy.
Raleigh Public School District
In the Raleigh schools, the head lice policy is relatively lenient. In accordance with advice from American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses, children are allowed to remain in school with nits. Below is the policy of the Raleigh district:
“Policy and research from the Harvard School of Epidemiology, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses all state there is no value to excluding children from school for nits only. Children will only be sent home if live lice are seen.
- Please check your child’s scalp often for nits and live lice
- Instruct family members not to share combs, brushes, hats and other personal items
- Children may come back to school after being treated for lice. Only nits that are within 1/4″ from the scalp must be removed
- Additional Information
- Head lice information for parents
- Pollack, Richard J., Head Lice: Information and Frequently Asked Questions
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Head Lice: Clinical Report, PEDIATRICS Vol. 110 No. 3 September 2002, pp. 638-643, NOTE: A Statement of Reaffirmation of this policy was published May 1, 2009, Retrieved from the WWW June 30, 2010
- National Association of School Nurses, Position Statement, Pediculosis in the School Community, (2004). Retrieved from the WWW June 30, 2010
Related information: wcpss.net
Durham Public Schools
When a case of head lice is found in an elementary school, the following procedures will apply:
- “All children in the classroom in which the case is confirmed will be checked for head lice and parents/guardians notified. The principal will notify all staff in the school that head lice has been reported.
- A child will be sent home if live lice are seen, and/or if eggs (nits) are seen within ¼” from the scalp. It is preferable to have the parent/guardian pick up the child at school so information on procedures for treatment can be discussed. If that is not possible, a written notice will be sent home with the child outlining recommended treatment and strategies for prevention. Children with eggs (nits) only will not be excluded from school (unless eggs are seen within ¼” from the scalp).
- The child may return to school only after the school principal or designee has been satisfied that the head lice has been adequately treated and all eggs (nits) within ¼” from the scalp have been removed. If the principal determines that live lice and/or eggs within ¼” from the scalp are still present, the child will be refused admittance to school.
- If a child is absent repeatedly due to head lice or there is evidence that a child has been neglected with respect to treatment of head lice, the school principal shall refer the case to the Department of Social Services.
- Principals shall ensure procedures are in place to eliminate sources of lice contagions in classrooms. The middle and high school principals will use essentially the same procedure outlines above; however, some modifications may be necessary due to the age of the student and his/her daily school schedule.
Related information: www.dpsnc.net
Chapel Hills-Carrboro City Schools
This Chapel Hills-Carrboro City Schools district has a stricter than the two aforementioned districts. Children are not permitted in school with nits i.e. the district maintains a “no nit” policy. When a child is determined to have lice, the following letter is sent home to parents:
“Your child has been sent home today because head lice and/or nits were found in his/her hair. In order to help your child from becoming re-infested, please complete the checklist below before sending your child back to school. School personnel will re-check your child’s head to insure that it is lice- and nit- free.
_____ Treat your child’s hair with one of the methods included in the Head Lice Resource list
_____ Remove all nits. (Recommend use of a metal nit-removal comb)
_____ Check all family members and treat those who have lice or nits
_____ If using a lice product, use only mild shampoos and no creme rinses after treating. If using olive oil, there are no specific recommendations for shampoos and rinses.
_____ Soak all combs/brushes in hot water
_____ Wash all of the following items in hot water
- Clothing, bed clothes, caps/hats, backpacks and coats
- Hair apparel (clips, bows, elastics, scrungies, head bands)
- Sheets, comforters, towels and washcloths
_____ Wash all pillows or place in dryer at high heat for 20-30 minutes
_____ Vacuum all carpeted or upholstered areas, including car carpet, upholstery and car seat.
_____ Discard vacuum bag after vacuuming is completed
_____ Treat all stuffed animals by washing, placing in dryer, freezing, bagging
_____ All non-washable items should be dry-cleaned, bagged in plastic securely for 14 days, frozen in freezer, or placed in a hot dryer for 20-30 minutes.
_____ Notify any close contacts (family, playmates) of possible exposure
Continue checking hair daily for new lice and/or nits for up to 30 days. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse. If head lice return after two treatments, and you have followed guidelines, contact your school nurse or physician for help. Please return this list to the main office when your child returns to school.”
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