School Lice Policies Hartford, Litchfield, Windham, and Tolland Counties
The following information was sent out in The School Nurse Bulletin to all Connecticut school nurses in September 2010: “Head lice infestation is associated with limited morbidity, but causes a high level of anxiety among parents of school-aged children. Since the 2002 clinical report on head lice was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), patterns of resistance to products available over-the-counter and by prescription have changed, and additional mechanical means of removing head lice have been explored. This revised clinical report clarifies current diagnosis and treatment protocols and provides guidance for the management of children with head lice in the school setting. Summary of Key Points: No healthy child should be excluded from or allowed to miss school time because of head lice. No-nit policies for return to school should be abandoned.” In Connecticut, despite the recommendations of the Connecticut School Nurse Association, some schools retain their “no nit” policies, while others have dropped them and they now allow students to return to school with lice eggs in their hair. Each school district has its own head lice policy.
Hartford Public Schools
The following information was sent out in The School Nurse Bulletin to all Connecticut school nurses in September 2010: “Head lice infestation is associated with limited morbidity, but causes a high level of anxiety among parents of school-aged children. Since the 2002 clinical report on head lice was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), patterns of resistance to products available over-the-counter and by prescription have changed, and additional mechanical means of removing head lice have been explored. This revised clinical report clarifies current diagnosis and treatment protocols and provides guidance for the management of children with head lice in the school setting.
Summary of Key Points: No healthy child should be excluded from or allowed to miss school time because of head lice. No-nit policies for return to school should be abandoned.” Hartford schools no longer have a “no nit” policy as long as students have been treated for lice. “If live lice or nits appearing in close proximity to scalp or on clothing are observed the student is to be considered to have pediculosis. In this situation the Principal will exclude the student, and the nurse will instruct the parent or guardian on treatment procedures and precautions against spreading. The school nurse aide or Principal will notify parents immediately. The nurse will do head checks on all students in the classroom and on any students who are siblings of infected student. Examination consists of sectioning and parting of hair using wooden applicator sticks. If students have siblings in other schools, the nurse will notify the school nurse of that school. The siblings will be screened immediately. Identified students may return to school immediately following treatment which includes the application of head louse shampoo. The parent will be required to sign a statement attesting to the administration of an appropriate treatment, and the student will be rescreened by the nurse. (Editorial note from LiceDoctors that our treatment has been used and accepted by this district”.) Identified students are to be rescreened seven to ten days after readmittance to school. To ensure confidentiality, the names of the students who have pediculosis will be shared with no other parents and with only those staff members which the Principal deems to have a reason to know. No parents other than the parent of a student in question will be present when a student is being individually rechecked by the nurse or health aide. If a student’s pediculosis problem does not appear to be eliminated by the standard medical treatment, the school medical advisor may intervene and request the school Principal to exclude the student from school until all lice or nits have been removed from the student’s head.” Read more: www.crec.org
Wethersfield Public Schools
Effective December 19, 2011, Wethersfield schools adopted a more lenient head lice policy. “The new policy adopted by the school board reflects a growing national trend to view head lice infestations as a common, noncontagious condition and not grounds to automatically send the afflicted child home. Only children infested with live lice will be sent home for treatment. Those found with only with lice eggs, called nits, don’t need to be sent home because nits are not transmitted person-to-person. School board Chairman John Cascio said Wednesday the new lice policy is only a slight revision of the existing one and was made to conform with changes in state health department regulations concerning treatment of lice outbreaks in schools. The policy stresses that head lice are most common among children ages 3 and 12, do not pose a health hazard, nor are a sign of poor hygiene.” Read more: articles.courant.com
West Hartford Schools
This district also does not have a “no nit” policy. On the web site, nurse Barbara McGuiness writes, “Should you find that your child does have head lice there are several over-the-counter shampoo-in treatments. It is advisable to contact your pediatrician if you have any questions regarding which product to use. Shampoo treatments should not be used as a preventative measure on other family members who show no signs of infestation. These products do contain pesticides and should be used only as directed. I would ask that you discuss with your children: not to wear other students’ hats, caps, headbands, barrettes, or scrunchies. Also please remind your children that combs and brushes should not be shared. Our town policy is that any student suspected of having head lice will be sent home for treatment. Likewise it would be greatly appreciated if parents would notify the nurse if they have treated their child for this problem so that we can control the spread of head lice in a classroom.” Read more: morley.whps.org
Vernon Public Schools
The policy is as follows: “Notify the parent. A student with LIVE lice will be sent home. Educate the parents on the requirements of shampooing and nit removal, using verbal and written instructions. A general letter will be sent home with the classroom students to inform all parents of the occurrence. Recheck the student before returning to class after treatment.” Read more: vernonpublicschools.org
Branford Public Schools
Branford Public Schools also do not have a “no nit” policy and follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Lice are a common infestation of the head in young children. Most commonly, the lice cause itching. The policy of the Branford Pubilc Schools is to minimize school absence due to head lice infestation. An excellent source of information the diagnosis, and treatment of head lice can found at the American Academy of Pediatrics." Read more: www.branford.k12.ct.us
Bristol-Burlington Schools--"No-Nit" Policy
As opposed to the aforementioned schools, this district does retain its “no nit” policy and children will not be allowed back into schools until "lice and nits (eggs) have been removed from their head. Rechecks will be done by Health Room staff before child allowed to return to school.For more information about elimination of head lice, contact Health Room staff.” Read more: www.bbhd.org
East Windsor Schools
Students in East Windsor schools must be nit free before returning to school. Read more: www.eastwindsork12.org It is important to note that your school district may have to completely different policy from the district next door. To understand your district head lice policy you should call your school nurse or check out the district website. Are you feeling overwhelmed by head lice? Why not give our in home lice removal service a shot? Call us at (860) 650-0315 to make an appointment now and an expert lice technician will put an end to your case of head lice!