Updated on July 19, 2020
Students will be re-admitted to school after they have been treated and live lice have been killed.
Head lice are a common nuisance among school age children. They can affect anyone and have nothing to do with family income, social status or level of personal hygiene. They do not transmit disease and are not a serious medical condition.
What you can do:
- Inspect your child’s hair and scalp frequently.
- Teach your child not to share personal items i.e. brushes, combs, etc.
- Encourage each family member to use only their assigned brush.
- Notify the school nurse or teacher if you find lice/nits on your child.
More information: Garland Independent School Health
Children with head lice will not be excluded from school in accordance with recommendations from key health organizations cited below. If a child is found to have lice, he or she will be allowed to remain in school. The child will be sent home at the end of the day to be treated. The child will be checked each day until signs of an active infestation are gone.
“The Richardson Independent School District (RISD or the District) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment of learning for all students. In response to changes in regulations from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), as well as changes to the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), RISD has adapted changes to the Pediculosis (Head Lice) Guidelines beginning in the 2015- 2016 school year. The management of pediculosis in RISD is committed to ensure that there is no disruption of the educational process.
The DSHS has removed pediculosis as an excludable condition and state that children who are found with lice or nits (lice eggs) should stay in school. The DSHS indicates that head lice do not carry or spread disease; they are not a public health threat and therefore are not monitored or tracked.1 The AAP takes the position that pediculosis is not a health hazard and is not responsible for the spread of disease. The AAP agrees that no-nit policies should be abandoned in schools and no healthy child should be excluded or allowed to miss school because of pediculosis.2 The Harvard School of Public Health3and CDC report that there is little evidence that exclusion from school reduces transmission of lice.4 NASN stipulates that the management of pediculosis should not disrupt the educational process; no disease is associated with head lice and in-school transmission is considered to be rare. NASN indicates that children found with live lice should remain in class until the conclusion of the school day. They indicate that the school nurse must prevent stigmatizing and maintain the student’s privacy as well as the family’s right to confidentiality.5 The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) cautions that school districts do not create penalties for the student, such as grade reductions or loss of credit. Students must also be allowed to complete their assignments and tests with no penalties. The following guidelines set out the procedures that RISD follows in managing students with pediculosis.
When a parent or teacher informs the school nurse that they suspect a student has head lice, the nurse will screen that student. After the student is examined, and found to be positive for head lice, the student will be allowed to remain in the classroom until the end of the school day to allow maximum time on instruction. Research data does not support immediate exclusion upon the identification of the presence of live lice or nits as an effective means of controlling pediculosis transmission. However; it is permissible if the parent wishes to pick up their student early from school to initiate treatment. If the school nurse is not present when a suspected case is reported, the student may be screened upon the nurse’s return to the school.
When the student with an active case of head lice returns to the classroom following the screening/examination, the nurse will instruct the student regarding steps to take to prevent head lice transmission (i.e. avoiding head to head contact, storing possessions separately, refraining from sharing grooming articles or playing with hair, etc.). By the time a child with active head lice infestation is identified, he or she may have had the infestation for one month or more and therefore poses little additional risk of transmission to others.
If, upon examination, the nurse finds live lice and/or nits in close proximity to the scalp, the nurse will contact the parent and inform them that the student is expected to be appropriately treated for head lice prior to returning to school the next day. The parent will be advised to contact their physician or pharmacist for approved head lice products.
The school nurse may provide information for appropriate treatment and encourage the parent to treat the child the same day so that the child will not miss any school and be able to return to school the next day after effective treatment.
The nurse (or health aide) will use wooden applicator sticks to examine a student’s head, using a clean applicator for each student. The minimum areas to check will include the nape of neck, behind the ears at hairline, forehead at hairline, and between the ear and back of neck. It is recommended that all hair accessories (barrettes, pony tails, etc.) be removed in order for the hair to be examined properly.
The siblings of the affected student will be screened as transmission mainly occurs in environments with very close head to head contact. The other students in the classroom will not be screened. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that classroom or school-wide screenings should be strongly discouraged due to the lack of evidence of efficacy and instead suggests that schools help to educate parents in diagnosing and managing head lice2,6.
Upon the student(s) return to school, the nurse may rescreen the student for signs of live head lice. If live lice are detected, the student will return to the classroom until the end of the day and the parent will be informed that the student needs to be treated again with a lice killing product following the package instructions. The parent is encouraged to contact a health care provider for treatment.
The student will be rescreened the following day and if live lice are still present, the student will be sent home from school at the end of the school day and will not be able to return to school until the treatment is successful. The school nurse will continue to work with the student’s family as needed for the management of the chronic, persistent and/or untreated infestations.
Information will be provided to parents at the beginning of the year regarding the new Pediculosis Guidelines. Information will be available on the District web site under Health Services. This information will encourage our parents to monitor their children for head lice on a regular basis. Notification letters for every active case of head lice will not be sent home.
If your child has lice, call LiceDoctors in the Garland and Richardson area at 214-382-9727 . An expert lice technician will eliminate the lice so that your child can return to school the next day.