Miami-Dade County School Lice Policy-- No Lice or Nits Allowed
The Miami-Dade School Board policy remains as it has been for years and states: “Any student found having head lice should be excluded from school until they are free of lice and have no nits.” According to the Miami-Dade schools' web site, "Recently, there has been a significant rise in the incidence of pediculosis capitis (head lice). This is a national problem and Miami-Dade County is no exception. Head lice are not dangerous but they require attention because they spread rapidly and are difficult to control. Head lice dwell only in the hair and scalp and lay their eggs (nits) on the shafts of the hair near the scalp. Lice themselves are often difficult to see but the nits are small, whitish, teardrop shaped eggs, which can easily be seen with the naked eye. In seven to ten days, the young emerge as miniature replicas of the adults. Under favorable conditions, they reach maturity in approximately two weeks. The adult lives 20 to 30 days during which she may produce 275 to 300 eggs...Remove all nits. You must pick nits out of the hair with fingers if they are not removed by a comb. Hair must be nit-free before a student can return to school. Inspect all family members daily for at least two weeks. Use the name treatment for other infested family members.
Miami-Dade Lice Policy AT SCHOOL:
The following steps are recommended for the control of head lice in a school:
- Any time a parent reports a case of head lice, the school should examine the heads of classmates, siblings, playmates, and students riding a school bus, if transported. Screening should be done by a person trained by the Department of Health, School Health Nursing Office.
- School personnel should examine the entire class when teachers report students with signs and symptoms of head lice.
- Any student found having head lice should be excluded from school until they are free of lice and have no nits.
- To insure that head lice do not establish a niche early in the school year, it is recommended that elementary schools examine their entire population four weeks after school starts, the week before, and after spring break...
The principal will have the responsibility to coordinate the following procedures:
- Designate two or more school personnel to inspect students and identify lice or nits. The use of trained parent volunteers is suggested when head lice present a serious problem at school.
- Exclude from school any child found to have head lice.
- Recheck children previously identified with head lice and not readmit them until the designated school person has inspected and determined the child had no nits in the hair.
- Count the absence of a child identified with lice or nits as an excused absence. After 3 days, absences should be counted as unexcused. When a student has been absent for an extended period (10-15 days), the principal should make a referral to the school social worker for follow-up. The school social worker will counsel the family and assess the family’s need for a Social Service referral. Ongoing communication and coordination among the principal, Public Health Outreach Nurse, and school social worker should take place...
- It is wise to consider the introduction of a brief unit of instruction relating to recognition and treatment of head lice.Upon return to school, each student must be accompanied by a parent or an adult. Each student will be inspected for lice and nits by trained personnel. Evidence of nits or live lice is grounds for immediate exclusion from school. The principal shall designate which persons will be responsible for inspection and re-inspection of students.
NOTE: In case of serious lice infestations in a school, the principal may exercise extra precautionary measures such as class inspections, examination of students prior to their admittance to class, separation of clothing and belongings, or other hygiene measures necessary to curtail the spread of the pediculosis capitis (head lice). Health education programs can be an important step.