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Maryville and Farragut School Head Lice Policies

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Updated on June 25, 2020

Schools in Maryville and Farragut do not enforce strict “no nit” policies for head lice. Children are not excluded for the presence of eggs alone.

MARYVILLE AREA SCHOOLS

Head Lice

“Students diagnosed with live head lice do not have to be sent home early from school. They can be picked up by parent for treatment (supplies can be provided) or treated in the clinic. Student can return to class after appropriate treatment. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice. Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice. Routine education of all parents regarding the identification and management of head lice is helpful. The most effective screening is done by a parent. Once live lice are discovered at school, the parent will be contacted by phone. The appropriate Head Lice Information letter should be sent home with the student. In accordance with FERPA/HIPAA school officials may not disclose to any other parent or guardian the name(s) of private health information of affected students.”

Source: John Sevier Elementary Handbook

FARRAGUT AREA SCHOOLS

HEAD LICE GUIDELINES

“No healthy child should be excluded from or allowed to miss school time because of head lice. Our goal is to support families and keep kids where they need to be – in school!

Pediculosis (head lice) represents a common communicable childhood condition. Head lice are acquired by direct contact, head touching head, and by indirect contact through sharing combs, hats and other hair accessories. Lice do not live on household pets or in the general environment. Nits (eggs) can’t survive without a host and will die within 6-20 hours; live lice will die within 24 hours without a food source. Head lice are not a serious medical condition so immediate action is unnecessary.

The average case of head lice is several weeks old before being detected. To immediately exclude a child from school cannot be justified from either a medical or social perspective and sends a negative message to the child. Screening of whole classrooms is never warranted and is not cost effective, nor has screening proven to have any effect on the incidence rate of head lice in schools. Routine education of all parents regarding the identification and management of head lice is helpful. The most effective screening is done by a parent.

Once live lice are discovered students may return to the classroom and be monitored by the classroom teacher to prevent the student from having close contact (head to head) with other children for the remainder of the school day. The parent may be contacted by phone and choose to pick their child up from school for immediate treatment. The appropriate Head Lice Information (AD-H-302) form should be sent home with the student. Communication to the parent is very important to both educate then and assure compliance with treatment. Other school-age siblings who live in the home may need to be evaluated also. The student can be readmitted to school after treatment and upon examination if the school-designated personnel find no live lice on the child.

On occasion, if multiple students in the same classroom are found to have active cases of head lice, the Notice to Parents – Head Lice (form AD-H-301) may be sent to parents/guardians of all students in that classroom. These letters are done at the discretion of the school principal, with input from the school nurse. Recurrences of head lice in that classroom do not require that another letter be sent out, as the information is the same. The principal must be involved and supportive of nursing efforts to control head lice in the school population. In accordance with FERPA/HIPAA school officials may not disclose to any other parent or guardian the name(s) or private health information of affected students.”

Source: Knox County Schools Health Services

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