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Delaware School Lice Policy

Updated on April 14, 2017

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Brandywine School District
Brandywine schools have become more lenient with respect to allowing students to be in school with lice or nits. "The BSD lice management guidelines have been changed to reflect standard practice as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, the American School Health Association, the Harvard School of Public Health,and many other policy making organizations. They all recommend that students with eggs and/or head lice REMAIN IN SCHOOL. When lice are found on a child at school, that child’s parents will be informed. The school nurse will follow up to make sure the child is treated appropriately."

Caesar Rodney School District As with the Brandywine schools, the Caesar Rodney schools have a liberal school lice policy. "Head lice are small parasitic insects that live on the scalp and neck hairs of their human hosts. Head lice are not a health hazard or a sign of uncleanliness and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. Lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Head lice can occur in schools, especially among younger children. A frequent symptom of head lice infestation is scratching of the scalp. It is the position of both the National Association of School Nurses and the American Academy of Pediatrics that the management of lice should not disrupt the education process. Children found with live head lice should be referred to their parents for treatment. On the day of diagnosis, the school nurse should contact the parent/guardian and inform the parent/guardian of the presence of live lice. Verbal and written instructions for treatment options should be given to the family of the student by the school nurse. Prompt and proper treatment should be advised. The child may remain in the classroom. There is no research data that demonstrates that enforced exclusion policies are effective in reducing the transmission of lice. School staff need to ensure that student confidentiality is maintained and should not segregate or in any way embarrass the child. Nursing judgment may prevail in cases of extreme infestation, discomfort level of the child, or skin issues related to scratching. Upon return to school after being treated, the school nurse should recheck the child’s head. The nurse will continue to work with the family to support treatment and prevent re-infestation. Because no disease process is associated with head lice, schools are not advised to exclude students when nits remain after appropriate lice treatment, although further monitoring for signs of re-infestation is appropriate. The school's efforts regarding lice should be limited to educating students, parents, and school personnel with up-to-date information. Unjustified actions include screening children for lice or nits, treating children at school, treating the school building, notifying parents of students who are not infected (such as sending letters to parents of classmates) and excluding from school children who are infested or presumably infested. Divulging the child's medical condition to the teacher or principal or to other students and their parents, would be unjustified and would violate confidentiality. Head lice may be an annoyance, but they are neither a serious medical problem nor a public health issue."

Milford School District The Milford School District policy is a bit more conservative than the two aforementioned district policies. The district advocates dropping a "no nit" policy but does not allow students with live lice to remain in school. "Pediculosis (Head Lice) Policy The Milford School Nurses would like to propose the following policy be adopted as it reflects current recommended practice by the National Association of School Nurses and current pediculosis research. Adoption of this policy will require the previously adopted “No Nit Policy” to be rescinded. I. Head Lice Definition: Head lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live and feed on blood from the scalp. They can spread from person to person by direct contact (head to head) or if the head touches an object that has been infested with lice from another person, such as furniture, bedding, or clothing. Procedure: Any student who is found to have live lice on their scalp is to be excluded from school until such time as they have been treated with a lice removal product. They are to be lice free before returning to school. The school nurse will check each returning student to determine whether he/she is lice free and may remain at school. II. Nits (eggs) Definition: Nits are the eggs that are laid by live head lice. The nits are adhered to the hair shaft. A large percentage of nits are killed during head lice treatments. Removal of all nits is considered a part of effective head lice treatment. The nits, as such, are not a cause of the spread of head lice. The second phase of treatment, one week after the initial treatment, is designed to eliminate any additional head lice that may hatch from nits that survive or are not removed from the hair. Procedure: All nits are to be removed from the hair following head lice treatment. Students will be allowed to return to school following head lice treatment before all nits have been removed, in the absence of live lice. The school nurse will continue to frequently examine those students who have nits in their hair until all nits are removed. If live lice are found during these examinations, students will be excluded from school pending treatment. III. National Association of School Nurses Position Statement Conclusion It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses that the management of pediculosis should not disrupt the education process. Children found with live head lice should be referred to parents for treatment. Data does not support school exclusion for nits. Because no disease process is associated with head lice, schools are not advised to exclude students when nits remain after appropriate lice treatment, although further monitoring for signs of re-infestation is appropriate. The school nurse, as student advocate and nursing expert, should be included in school district-community planning, implementation and evaluation of vector control programs for the school setting. The school nurse retains an important role in education all constituencies about pediculosis and dispelling myths and stigmas regarding lice infestation. (Adopted July 2004) (See the attached copy of the complete NASN Pediculosis Position Statement for a list of References and Resources)"

Students raising their hands - Lice Doctors

Seaford School District (pg 21) Seafood schools do not permit students with live lice to be in school. The district discourages the presence of students with nits as follows: "COMMUNICABLE DISEASE CONTROL –Exclusion Requirements In order to prevent the spread of communicable disease and to insure rapid recovery, it is advisable to keep a child home from school when he/she is ill with a communicable disease. Students excluded because of pinkeye, head lice, scabies, ringworm, and impetigo cannot be re-admitted without a note from a doctor indicating that the condition has been cured or is being treated by medication. Students with head lice must be treated with over –the- counter medication or prescribed treatment. After 2 occurrences of head lice, a no nit policy may be initiated. The school nurse will determine if the child can be re-admitted to school."

Red Clay Consolidated School District (pg 10) This district expects students with lice to remain home for 24 hours after treatment. "Good health is essential to learning. Students should not come to school feeling ill. If a student becomes ill during school, the school nurse will contact the parents. It is the responsibility of the parents to arrange for transportation to pick up their child from school if notified. Students are not permitted in school with contagious diseases such as flu, fever, impetigo, strep, chicken pox, ringworm, and head lice until they have been treated for 24 hours. Children sent home with fevers are to remain home until they are fever free for 24 hours."