Based on the recommendations from the California Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control, SFUSD now has a NO-LICE Policy. This is a change from the prior policy, which was a “no nit” policy. The difference between a “no nit” and a “no lice” policy is that students with nits or eggs will be admitted to school under the latter policy. With a “no nit” policy, students with nits or eggs will not be permitted to return to school.
Following is the head lice policy for SFUSD:
“Designated school staff must inspect children with suspected head lice using disposable screening sticks. (Sticks are available through SFUSD warehouse catalog item #203418)
- If a student is found with live lice the student is excluded from school
- Each student identified with head lice must receive the following:
- “Exclusion” letter
- “Guidelines for Parents to Control Head Lice” information*
- “A Parent’s Guide to Head Lice” brochure* (optional)
- Send the “Parent Notification” letter and “Guidelines for Parents to Control Head Lice” to all children in the affected classroom.
- The student may be readmitted with a signed “Exclusion” letter
- Designated school staff are responsible for doing a follow-up inspection one week after treatment.
- Upon re-examination, if live lice are found, the student will be excluded and can be readmitted if NO LIVE LICE are found. Children will not be excluded for nits
- Periodic reminders in parent newsletters for parents to inspect their children weekly act as a reminder and may keep this common condition under control.”
Additional information regarding the California Department of Public Health’s Guidelines on Head Lice Prevention and Control for School Districts and Child Care Facilities can be found at:
Burlingame School District
More information: fes-bsd-ca.schoolloop.com/Handbook
This district has a “no live lice” policy which means that students with live lice must be treated at home before being re-admitted to school. Students may remain in school with nits but are expected to receive treatment at home.
“If your child complains of an itchy scalp, check for head lice. If your child has lice, please contact the school immediately. Nits (eggs) are easier to spot than lice. Eggs attach themselves firmly to hair shafts near the skin. Lice are spread by close contact or using the hat, comb, or brush of an infected person. To treat, use an over-the-counter anti-lice shampoo. Backcomb hair with a fine-tooth comb to remove all nits. Vacuum your child’s room. Soak combs and brushes for one hour in solution containing anti-lice shampoo. Wash your child’s sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and any clothing worn in the last 72 hours in 140° water. Items which cannot be washed should be placed in an airtight plastic bag for three weeks.
Before readmission to school, please accompany your child to the office to sign a readmission form and trained staff will check your child to make sure there are no live lice found.”
More information: www.cusdk8.org
These schools have a “no nit” policy. Students with nits are not permitted in school until all nits have been removed.
San Mateo School District
San Mateo schools retain a “no nit” school lice policy and send kids with nits home from school.
“Head lice are endemic in San Mateo County which means that they are always present in our community. While head lice require a large amount of effort to treat, it is important to remember that they do not cause disease or harm. Below, we’ve included documents to help you treat head lice successfully in your home.
California Department of Public Health: Head Lice Information for Parents
Instructions for Head Lice Treatment
Returning to School After Finding Head Lice:
After you have completed treatment (below), call your school office for an appointment. Students may return to school only after being checked-in by the office.
To do before making appointment to return to school:
- Remove all nits from hair
- Treat live lice
- Treat home environment including bedding, clothes
- Children found to have lice or nits during this check will be sent home for further treatment and may schedule another check for the following school day.”
More information: www.pauds.org
Contrary to the aforementioned school district, Palo Alto schools have a lenient lice policy. Students with nits may remain in school but must be treated at home. Children with live lice will be sent home to be treated.
“Recent research indicates that neither NO NIT policies nor mass school screenings prevent or shorten the length of lice outbreaks at school. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO) all oppose the NO NIT policy as well as mass school screenings.
The problem of pediculosis, or head lice as it is more commonly known, is ongoing and requires education and treatment. However, head lice do not pose a risk of transmitting disease and are not a threat to health.
School Staff / Office Response to Head Lice
- School office staff or health technician will check students suspected of having head lice.
- When live lice are found:Office staff will contact parent to pick up their child, provide them with the brochure, A Parent’s Guide to Head Lice and a Lice Treatment form with readmission requirements. Parents are encouraged to begin treatment immediately and to check all family members for head lice or nits. When live lice or previously untreated nits are found, copies of the Lice Exposure Notice and A Parent’s Guide to Head Lice will be sent home with all children in the affected student’s elementary classroom.
- When only nits are found: Office staff will contact parents to determine if the student has been treated for head lice. If student has already been treated for this infestation, staff will remind parent to continue daily nit removal and observation for presence of live lice, requiring re-treatment. Student remains at school and no re-admission check required.
If the student has NOT been treated for this infestation, parent will be given A Parent’s Guide to Head Lice and the Lice Treatment form with re-admission requirements. Parents are encouraged to begin treatment immediately and to check all family members. Student remains at school until end of school day. Re-admission check is required.
- Before returning to the classroom, parent/guardian will accompany child to the school office for a re-admission check by office staff or Health Technician.
- Parent/Guardian will return the signed Lice Treatment form to the office.
- If no live lice are found, student may return to class.
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