Sherry Marbury, state supervisor for the Alabama Department of Education, stated that she "does not expect the debate over how to handle head lice in schools to end any time soon." Schools across the country are becoming more lenient with respect to admission to school with lice or nits (eggs). This change was "recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses, and it has been welcomed by many educators and parents, who worried that students were missing too much school, moms and dads were missing work, and children were being made to feel ashamed." More information: www.theledger.com
Trussville schools send children with nits home to be treated. Children with lice must be treated at once to avoid missing school. More information: www.trussvillecityschools.com
Student with an active case of lice will be sent home to be treated. Active includes viable nits. The district policy takes care to make an effort not to embarrass the child.
LICE CONTROL PLAN
The purpose of this plan is to prevent outbreaks of lice and to help break the cycle of lice re-infestation that can occur. The most important element of this plan is to uphold the policy in place for lice control. The school’s registered nurse (RN) will determine, along with the principal, the lice screening schedule for each school individually based on the prevalence of students with lice/nits and the likelihood of a potential lice infestation. The recommended minimum screening schedule is as follows:
- Primary and Elementary Schools: every Friday morning.
- Secondary Schools: the first day of classes, and the first day students return from extended breaks, such as fall holidays, winter holidays, and spring break.
TEACHERS: SCREENING EACH STUDENT FOR LICE IN THE CLASSROOM EVERY FRIDAY MORNING IS RECOMMENDED. If lice and/or nits (lice eggs) are found, refer the student to the school nurse, confidentially, taking care not to embarrass the student. Clean your classroom daily, vacuuming and washing anything that may have come in contact with any student’s hair or clothing. Teach children not to share hats, combs, brushes, coats and the like and to keep their nails trimmed short. Good handwashing should be practiced often during the school day.
SCHOOL NURSE: Once lice/nits are confirmed, the school nurse will send the student home with a letter (LCP-1) and a Parent Information Packet about lice. The school nurse will determine if any nits found are viable and will instruct parents re: treatment options. Note: If the nit or nits can be removed or slid off the hair strand with ease then it is considered not viable. Any nit that holds on to the hair and not easily removed is to be considered viable.
Note: If parents have treated the child with lice-killing shampoos two times as recommended, (first treatment and then 7-10 days later the shampoo may be repeated), and the child still has viable nits you should refer that student to his/her physician. The school nurse will perform the recheck on any student(s) sent home for treatment prior to the student re-entering the classroom. The school nurse or principal has the authority to readmit a student to the classroom when he/she considers the student free of viable nits. The school nurse is available to instruct teachers who do not know how to perform head checks for lice. Your school’s registered nurse (RN) is the resource person to be called when the school’s effort to control the lice problem fails, or when a particular student is sent home repeatedly for lice infestation.
PRINCIPAL: The principal should decide when a letter, (LCP-2) along with the Parent Information Packet, should go out to all parents in the school or individual classroom regarding lice in the school.
BUS DRIVERS: Buses should be swept and cleaned each day to prevent the spread of lice by student contact or by fallen hair strands." More information: www.tcss.net
Children with head lice will be excluded from school until the hair has been treated and ALL of the eggs (nits) have been removed. More information: alabama.webschoolpro.com
Vestavia Hills Schools
Students with lice will be sent home to be treated. Once the child had been treated, he or she may return to school even if some nits remain in the hair. The district does not have a "no nit" policy.
Prevention and Education
The school nurse will provide training for elementary teachers and other appropriate school personnel regarding classroom prevention and control techniques, screening and treatment at the beginning of each school year or as needed throughout the school year...
The school nurse in each elementary school, as well as secondary schools as needed, will provide educational information about pediculosis, its detection and treatment to parents at the beginning of each school year. The nurse will also notify parents regarding the need to regularly screen their child for the presence of head lice (sample letter attached). Parents will be requested to notify the school at any time they detect evidence of head lice. The school personnel that receives notification of infestation will determine if the student has been treated and will refer the information to the school nurse for follow-up with the parent, if necessary. Once notified by parents that a student has pediculosis, the teacher will be notified. All classmates and close associates such as playmates or carpool contacts will be checked immediately by the school nurse or other trained school personnel. Students will be screened in a private location. Extreme care and attention will be given to avoid embarrassment to any student. Confidentiality of all students identified with pediculosis is of major importance. If other students are identified to have evidence of head lice, the parent will be notified immediately to pick the child up from school. When the parent arrives, the school nurse or other knowledgeable school personnel will confirm with the parent the presence of infestation and will discuss treatment of the child and the environment. Information regarding treatment will be provided in writing to parents as well. School personnel will assure privacy for this discussion, giving care to continue to maintain confidentiality. If a teacher or other school personnel suspects that a student has head lice, the student should be sent to the health room for a private examination by the school nurse or other trained personnel. A parent will be notified if the student is determined to have evidence of pediculosis. Routine screenings at school do not have a significant effect on the incidence of head lice and are not recommended by the medical community.
Exclusion and Readmittance
Students with untreated pediculosis are to be excluded from school and all school activities. The student must have been treated with a recommended pediculocide before being readmitted to school. The student and a parent should report to the school nurse or other designated school personnel when returning to school after treatment is complete. Should the student still have remaining nits after appropriate lice treatment, the student may return to class. However, parents should be advised to closely follow the label directions on the pediculicide; many products require a second treatment to prevent re infestation. School personnel should encourage the parent's diligence regarding home cleanup as well. The nurse should recheck the student in one week/seven days to monitor the potential for re infestation.
Legal Ref: Recommended guidelines for the control of pediculosis in schools. (1997). Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Department of Public Health; Clinical Report: head lice (September 2002). American Academy of Pediatrics; Head lice: Information and frequently asked questions. (November 2002). Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University. More information: sites.google.com/a/vestavia.k12.al.us LiceDoctors encourages parents to check in occasionally with your child's school to be sure that these policies are still in place. More and more schools are dropping their "no nit" policies and allowing student to remain in school once treated. If you are in the Birmingham, Alabama area and discover head lice, please call us at 205-598-2117 and an experienced lice technician will eliminate your lice infestation today.