Updated on July 19, 2020
Schools in the Lakewood and Englewood districts do not enforce strict no-nit policies, instead children are only sent home if live lice are found.
JEFFCO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
- Accurately Identify a lice infestation.
- Avoid head lice interfering with education; minimize school absences.
- Accurately direct family on proper treatment/protocol.
- Avoid stigmatizing or embarrassment for student or family
- Minimize recurrence by educating parents and the community.
1. Accurately Identify head lice:
- Don’t panic; work from knowledge and not emotion.
- Obtain an accurate history from teacher/parent who suspects lice.
- Look for symptoms; repeated itching
- Visual inspection.
- Seat the student in a well-lighted, private area.
- Use a magnifying glass if available.
- Divide hair into sections beginning at the base of the neck.
- Adult lice are small (about the size of a sesame seed) and move very quickly.
- Eggs (nits) are usually found firmly attached to the base of the hair shaft close to the scalp.
- Start behind the ears/near the neckline/and back of the head.
- Head lice hold tightly to the hair. They move by crawling. They cannot hop or fly, but they do move quickly making it difficult to find them.
- Have a second person confirm your findings before contacting parent(s)
- Contact district RN before contacting parent(s)
- Check siblings and close contacts for Lice/Nits.
- Send home a letter with each student that has been checked for lice.
- Please work discreetly and with confidentiality.
2. Notify parents:
- If Live Lice are found and confirmed, notify parent(s) that the student has confirmed lice.
- Parent is asked to come and pick up student and treat immediately.
- Educational sheet given to parent on How to Treat Lice.
- Student may return to school once treatment has been administered.
- Confirm with parent when and what treatment was administered.
- Student must be checked for Lice by Health Aide upon returning to school, before returning to the classroom. If live lice are still present and confirmed, parent must be contacted and student must return home for treatment.
- Classroom letter to be sent out no sooner than 24 hours AFTER confirmation of infestation.
- If NITS only are found, notify parent(s) that the student has confirmed nits.
- Student should return to class. No classroom notification necessary.
- Educational sheet should be sent home with student on how to treat nits. Knowing how to get rid of nits is the key to eliminating head lice. Once the head is free of nits, the infestation is resolved.
Source: The Book of Lice
PROTOCOL REGARDING THE PRESENCE OF HEAD LICE AT SCHOOL
The goals of the Englewood School District are to:
- Decrease school absenteeism.
- Support families in their efforts to control and eliminate head lice.
- Maintain student privacy.
PROCEDURES: FOR HEAD LICE DETECTION AND MANAGEMENT AT SCHOOL
In working with head lice and student surveillance, it is important to keep the following elements in mind:
- Implementation of head lice surveillance and control procedures is based on current scientific research and best practice.
- Information about head lice infestation is to be shared on a “need to know” basis as deemed appropriate by the building Certificated School Nurse.
- Maintaining confidentiality of student information in compliance with FERPA and HIPPA.
- Consideration of the student’s ability to understand whether or not they have head lice and if having this information is developmentally appropriate.
- The importance of the School Nurse and/or school staff documenting head lice surveillance efforts.
- Because nymphs and adult lice are very small, move quickly, and avoid light, they can be difficult to find. The diagnosis should be made by a health care provider or other person trained to identify live head lice.
When a student is found to have live lice:
- Notify parent/guardian by telephone and/or a note should be sent home with the child recommending prompt, proper treatment of head lice. A lice fact sheet from the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) should be included in the notification, which includes information related to detection and elimination of head lice.
- The parent is informed that the student must be treated before returning to school.
- The student is not sent home from school, however if the parent offers to pick up the student, that is acceptable. A child with an active head lice infestation should remain in class but discouraged from close direct head contact with others. However, all children are discouraged from direct head contact at all times as a prevention measure.
- Rationale: A child with an active head lice infestation has likely had the infestation for 1 month or more by the time it is discovered and poses little risk to others from the infestation.
- In some cases (based on the School Nurse’s professional judgment), it may be appropriate to have the student’s head checked upon return to school by the health assistant.
- If lice and/or nits are found, the parent is notified to keep nit-picking and combing (at least once daily for the next two weeks).
- Follow up head checks may be done by school staff to confirm lice management efforts.
- Record these head checks in PowerSchool as an office visit.
- If live lice/nits are found the process of notification to parents/guardians begins again.
- If a student is found to have head lice, documentation should take place in PowerSchool as a health office visit
When a student is found to have nits present (no live lice detected):
This protocol is based on the following best evidence-based practice: 1. Egg cases farther from the scalp are easier to discover, but these tend to be empty (hatched) or nonviable and, thus, are of no consequence. 2. Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people. 3. The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice. 4. Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by nonmedical personnel.
- The parent is notified and encouraged to treat the student and comb hair shafts (at least daily for the next two weeks). Include a lice fact sheet from the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). Best practice is to also attempt contact personally.
- The student is not sent home from school.
Source (document download): Englewood Schools Head Lice Protocol
If you get a note or call that your child has head lice, you should feel confident to call LiceDoctors for fast, safe, effective treatment which will clear your child so he or she can go back to school as quickly as possible. Call 720-292-1991 for treatment today.