Duval County, home of Jacksonville, Florida, has had a “no nit” policy in place since May of 1998. According to the district web site, “Students with nits (eggs) will now be excluded from school until they are nit-free. All children excluded from school due to head lice and/or nits must be accompanied by a parent or an adult before they will be allowed to return to school or ride the school bus."
The goal of the “no nit” policy is to:
- Reduce the number of students who continue to have head lice and are potential sources of spread to uninfested students.
- Decrease the amount of time required to conduct head lice screening and rechecks by school staff.
- Improve the school’s overall health environment.
- Return lost instructional time caused by head checks and associated record keeping.
Learn more at www.duvalschools.org.
Some Florida School Districts Have Loosened Criteria
While some districts in Florida have loosened their criteria regarding admission to school with nits or even lice, Jacksonville retains their “no nit” policy. This is in accordance with recommendations of the National Pediculosis Association in Newton, Massachusetts that says allowing students into school with lice or nits encourages the spread. Other groups, including the American Association of Pediatrics, the CDC, and the National Association of School Nurses take the position that children with nits should be allowed to remain in school as by the time the child is diagnosed, he or she has had ample time to transfer the case to others. Their position is that too many children were missing school and that “no nit” policies do not work to reduce the incidence of head lice. There is much debate ensuing over the issue of head lice policies now. LiceDoctors recommends that parents call your individual school to keep up with any changes in their head lice policy criteria.