Middlesex County School Lice Policies
Old Bridge School District
Old Bridge schools send home an information packet on how to deal with head lice in order to educate parents. If a child in the class is determined to have lice, then a letter is is sent home to the parents of the other children. The letter encourages parents to send in a plastic bag in order to place their child's jacket inside the bag. Students with the long hair are urged to wear their hair up in a bun or ponytail so as to make the hair less accessible to lice. The school asks that students with head lice report their infestation to the school nurse. More information: www.oldbridgeadmin.org
Edison schools send students with lice and nits home to be treated. The school asks parents to "Report communicable diseases...example, strep, chicken pox and LICE." More information: www.edison.k12.nj.us
Cranbury Public Schools
Cranbury stresses lice prevention in its schools. Children with active cases of lice are not pemitted in school. The district website says,
- "DO have your parent check your head every night for head lice. Your parent is the only person who can make sure you do not have head lice before you go to bed every night.
- DO tell your parent and your teacher if you have an itchy head.
- Do have your parent bring you to the health office before school if you suspect you may have head lice. The school nurse can check you and your family member for head lice and make sure you can attend school.
- GIRLS- DO wear your hair tied back in a ponytail or braids so your hair is not touching the back of your chair.
- DO buy your own helmet if you play sports.
- DO tell the nurse, your teammates, and the hairdresser who cuts your hair that you have head lice, or were treated for head lice. Remember that head lice love clean hair, so it does not mean you are dirty if you get head lice. It is nothing to be ashamed of."
More information: www.cranburyschool.org
Mercer County School Lice Policies
Hamilton Schools--Strict "No Nit" Policy
"*Hamilton Township School District enforces a "no-nit" policy. If your child is sent home from school with nits/lice, the nits/lice must be removed before returning to school. Upon return to school the parent must accompany the child into school to be re-checked before entering the classroom. As you may know, head lice cases have been on the rise. An estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States, most commonly among children ages 3 to 11. So, I am providing this information to help you learn how to identify lice and provie information on what you can do if lice hit your home. Here are some facts and myths about lice:
- Lice cannot fly or jump. They crawl.
- Lice cannot live on pets.
- Lice are nocturnal.
- Without human blood, a louse will die within 48 hours.
- Some people have no symptoms even though they have lice. Others will begin to itch with the first bug.
- Adult lice can lay up to 8-10 eggs a day.
- Lice have a lifespan of around 30 days.
- 6-12 million cases are reported each year.
- Over 80% of school districts in America report at least one outbreak of head lice each year.
- More children will have lice this year than will have the common cold."
More information: www.hamilton.k12.nj.us
Robbinsville Public Schools
The district claims not to have a strict "no nit" policy, which it defines as not conducting mass screenings for nits, children with nits are, in fact, not allowed into school. "Following are several of the most prevalent questions regarding how the Robbinsville Schools handle head lice.
- Has there been a recent change in the district practice regarding head lice?
The district bases our practice on the recommendations of various institutions such as Center for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, Harvard School of Public Health, and the National Association of School Nurses. Additionally, we maintain open lines of communication with other districts in New Jersey as a way to stay current on statewide best practice. As recommendations for best practice evolve, so does the district’s practice. Based on recent recommendations the district no longer conducts whole class screenings. Please refer to question #4 for more specific detail.
- Do the Robbinsville Schools notify parents if a case of head lice has been detected?
Yes. Beginning in January 2014, Sharon and Pond resumed notifying parents if a case of head lice has been discovered in school. This notification is sent to the parents of children in the same grade level as the infected student. It is sent via each school’s email distribution system with the intent of increasing parental vigilance and, ultimately, prevention of additional outbreaks. The identification of the infected child is kept confidential.
- If a child is found to have lice, will he/she be excluded from school?
Yes. Although the school district does not follow a strict no nit policy, meaning we do not conduct mass screening for nits, if a child is determined to have lice he/she will be excluded from school and checked by a nurse upon his/her return. If upon his/her return, a child continues to show evidence of infestation, including nits, he/she will be excluded until the signs dissipate.
- Will the whole class of a child found with lice be screened by the school nurses?
No. In the past the school nurses performed head checks of the entire class when a case of head lice was discovered. The district no longer conducts mass screenings because they have been found to create a false sense of security among families. When a parent receives a lice notification letter, he/she should regularly monitor his/her child for signs of infestation.
- Do Sharon Elementary and Pond Road Middle Schools adhere to separate conventions with regard to head lice?
In the past each school handled cases of head lice in slightly different ways. The district is seeking to standardize the protocol to have it reflect evidence-based practice.
- In what other ways is the district seeking to educate the school community on head lice?
There are resources posted on Pond and Sharon’s website detailing best practice as well as symptoms and treatment of lice. More information: www.robbinsville.k12.nj.us
Princeton School District
The district maintains a "no nit" policy. "The school district will follow the State and County Health Department guidelines regarding the treatment for lice. Any time a student shows evidence of head lice, either with the presence of live lice or the presence of new nits, the student will be excluded from school until treatment is complete. Parents will be provided with information that indicates proper treatment and also what needs to be done in the home. Upon re-admission, the student will be seen by the nurse to determine whether treatment has been given. If the student returns to school with evidence of treatment the student will be allowed to re-enter school. That student will be re-inspected by the nurse a week to ten days following the treatment.If there is evidence of live lice or new nits at that time, the process of exclusion and treatment should be repeated. The student's condition will be monitored weekly until there is no remaining evidence of a current lice infestation." More information: www.princetonk12.org.