School Lice Policies Akron, Ohio and Surrounding Areas
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. More information: www.odh.ohio.gov
Akron School District
Akron public schools maintain a "no nit policy". This means that students who have eggs (nits) will be sent home to be treated and will not be readmitted to school until their hair is clear. Following is the lice policy for Akron schools: "LICE PROTOCOL AND PROCEDURE:
- In September of each year, students in grades Pre-k 5 will be checked for head lice.
- Head checks will be scheduled following Christmas and Easter break.
- The school nurse will meet with students at the beginning of the school year to review health practices that help diminish the incidence of head lice.
- A video about head lice will be available for parents to borrow.
- Any student is found to have a case of head lice or nits will be sent to the health office to be re-checked by the school nurse to confirm the presence of head lice.
- The child will remain in the health office until the parent can come to school to pick the child up. If the parent is unavailable, the next individual on the students emergency contact list will be called. Under no circumstances will the student be sent home on the bus.
When the parent or other adult arrives to pick the child up, they will be offered a packet of information containing the following:
1) General information about head lice;
2) The care and treatment of head lice.
The nurse will also inform the parent/adult about the schools policy for return to school. Once a student has been identified with lice, the nurse will check the entire class. A general letter will be sent home to the classroom affected. Once a student is identified with having lice, other siblings in the district will be screened. Students, who have been sent home with lice, must return to school through the health office. They must report to the health office accompanied by an adult, to be examined by the nurse. Students must be louse and nit-free to be readmitted to school. Students returning to school, who are louse and nit-free, will be re-checked on the seventh school day after readmission to school. If there are repeated cases of lice with a particular student or a student is returned to school several times and head lice or nits are still present, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Patterson and other guidance personnel may be contacted for assistance. In any situation where there are seven or more students in the building identified with lice, the building principal and the school nurse will meet to review the situation."
More information: www.akronschools.org
Cuyahoga Falls School District
This district also retains a "no nit" policy. "HEAD LICE OR NITS Whenever a student is found with head lice or nits, s/he will be sent home for treatment. An information sheet will be sent home with the parent(s)/guardian. WLSD has a no nit guideline. Upon return to school after treatment, a head check is required by the school nurse and/or principal’s designee in the presence of the parent/guardian for re- admittance. If nits are found, the student cannot stay in school. Parents/guardian must transport child(ren) to school on the morning of the head check."
More information: wps.woodridge.k12.oh.us
Canton Public Schools
Unlike Akron and Cuyahoga Falls schools, Canton schools have dropped their "no nit" lice policy. Below is the policy: "Students With Possible Head Lice or Nits (eggs) Active Lice and Nits Parents informed and educated about head lice treatment. Student sent home with parent. Return to school with parent after treatment. RN rechecks head. No Lice or Nits Return to class. Nits Only Student allowed to remain in school. Parents informed and educated about continued head checks. Nits only, may return to class. Recheck in one week. Parents informed to continue head checks. If no lice, no further routine checks."
More information: www.cantonma.org
Ravenna Public Schools
Ravenna schools also allow students to return with the nits after they have been treated for active head lice. "Whenever a student is found to be infested with head lice, his/her parent/guardian will be notified of the infestation and requested to pick the child up immediately. Additionally, the student will be told of the infestation and reassured that it is a very treatable condition and nothing to be ashamed of. The student will also be educated in the transmission of lice and told not to share combs, hats, etc. with others. When the parent picks up his/her child, the parent will be informed that the student needs to be treated before s/he returns and the parent will need to complete Form 8451 F3 before the student is readmitted. The student will be permitted to return to school after it is confirmed that the child is free of any live lice. The parent will be provided with a cover letter (Form 8451 F1) that provides guidance and educational material concerning the epidemiology, treatment and follow-up procedures for the infestation (see also Form 8451 F4) and will also be shown by the school nurse or health staff member the evidence of the child’s infestation. The parent will be informed that other family members might be infested and need treatment. If the parent/guardian is unable to visit the school (i.e., pick up the student), a phone call to the parent explaining the above information shall be made, and the referenced cover letter (Form 8451 F1), along with the additional information (Form 8451 F4) will be sent home with the student. The other students in the infested student's classroom and the student's sibling(s) should be examined for evidence of either the lice or lice eggs (nits). The examination should be done by the school nurse or designee. The proper way to confirm the presence of lice is to find actual lice in the child's hair. Transmission of lice most often occurs by direct contact with the head of another infested child as lice do not jump or fly. Indirect contact can include personal belongings of an infested child (combs, brushes, hats, pillows, and bedding). Only children and family members who have head lice should be treated. If parents are unsure if a child has lice, the hair should be combed with a lice comb to see if lice are present."
More information: www.neola.com
Green School District
Students are sent home if they have live lice and nits.m After the parents have treated the child, the child may return to school even if nits remain in the hair. 8450A - HEAD LICE (PEDICULOSIS) "Students with live lice found will be excluded from school and required to receive suitable treatment at home immediately. The school nurse or designated personnel has the responsibility to communicate to other schools where siblings or other close contacts of the infested person attend. Infested students are sent home as soon as possible with parent/guardian or appropriate caretaker. Students who can not be sent home due to inability to reach a parent or authorized caretaker or parents unable to pick student up will remain in the school's clinic until fifteen (15) minutes prior to the end of the student day. Students remaining in the school's clinic at dismissal will not be placed on public busing and must be picked up by parent/guardian. If the student's parent(s)/guardian will not pick up the student, the local police department will be contacted on an as needed basis. The student must remain out of school for a minimum of twelve (12) hours to allow for treatment. They will be checked by the school nurse or other designated personnel the next school morning following treatment. The student may return to school the morning after initial treatment if the following conditions are met:
- A parent must accompany the student - no bus ride to school the next day.
- The parent must wait until the head check is completed.
- The student is free from live lice.
- The parent must show an obvious attempt to remove the majority of nits. Nits that are present are acceptable but if it takes longer than ten (10) minutes to remove nits from hair, the student will be sent home to remove excessive nits.
- If the student has missed a significant number of school days because of lice infestation and does not have live lice, the student may return to class as long as monitoring of the progress of nit removal is made by the school nurse or designated personnel.
- All students that are infested with live lice may be checked in seven (7) to ten (10) days from initial treatment. In case of chronic, repeated infestations, the student may be rechecked as often as needed at the discretion of the school nurse or building administrator.
When several cases of live head lice is identified in the same classroom, all students in the classroom are screened. Whole school lice screening is only necessary if the majority of infested cases are no longer isolated to specific classrooms. Home visits may be made necessary by the local support agencies if care of the invested student has not been attempted or child has missed undue amounts of school."
More information: www.neola.com
Districts revise their lice policies from time to time. Check in with your school nurse to be sure that you have the most up-to-date head lice policy for your child's school. If you find lice in your child, call LiceDoctors in the Akron area at 330-475-7118.