The New Jersey Department of Health dissuades the implementation of "no nit" policies in schools as explained below: "What is the school’s role in the prevention and control of head lice in children? Because a child with an active head lice infestation has likely had the infestation for a month or more by the time it is discovered, he or she should be allowed to remain in class, but be discouraged from close direct head contact with others. The child’s parent or guardian should be notified of the infestation that day by telephone, or by a note sent home with the child at the end of the school day. The parent or guardian should be advised that prompt proper treatment is in the best interest of the child and his or her classmates. Other children in the school who were most likely to have had direct head-to-head contact with the infested child should also be checked. Classroom or school-wide screening has not been proven to be necessary or effective at controlling the spread of head lice. Some schools have “no nit” policies under which a child is not allowed to return to school until all nits are removed. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses discourage such policies."
Monmouth County Schools Head Lice Policies
Holmdel Public Schools--Allows students with nits to remain in school if they are receiving treatment at home.
- "Students are sent home if the school nurse determines that the student has lice.
- Parents are notified to pick up their child. Parents are provided with information on how to treat, and prevent the spread of lice.
- Parents are also advised that they may wish to consult with a physician for treatment.
- Upon returning to school and entering his/her classroom, students must be escorted to the nurse’s office and checked by the school nurse for lice.
- If lice are present, the student is sent home for further treatment.
- As recommended by the Center for Disease Control, if the student is undergoing treatment, but nits (eggs) are present, the student can remain in school.
- Schools notify parents that a lice problem exists in their respective child(ren)'s classroom. Parents are also provided with information on how they can treat, and prevent the spread of lice."
Bradley Beach Schools
Students will be checked regularly but will not be prevented from entering school if eggs are found. "Each year millions of cases of head lice are discovered in the U.S., especially among children ages three to twelve. Although they are an annoyance, head lice are not dangerous and do not spread diseases. Your child's head will be examined several times during the school year. To help us prevent infestations: Periodically examine your child's hair and scalp. Look for white or grayish crawling forms, about the size of a sesame seed and/or yellowish-white eggs (nits) attached to the hair shafts close to the scalp. Tell your child to avoid head-to-head contact and any sharing of combs, brushes, towels, hats, scarves, barrettes, or other personal items worn on the head. Notify the school nurse immediately if you suspect infestation." More information: https://sites.google.com/site/bbeshealthoffice/news-alerts
Eatontown School District
Eatontown schools require that children be treated for lice and nits before returning to school. The district does not have a no nit policy in place.
The freehold district does not have a no nit policy. "In order to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, parents are required to notify the school nurse whenever their child contracts one of the following: chickenpox, German measles, measles, mumps, streptococcal infections (including scarlet fever), staphylococcal infections, influenza, hepatitis, mononucleosis, meningitis, encephalitis, tuberculosis, pediculosis (head lice), ring worm, pinworms, impetigo, scabies, and conjunctivitis. The following links provide further information. Freehold schools follow he recommendations of the CDC
- Students remain in school if Dx during day
- Children return to school after treatment
- Nits still present? –O.K. as long as no crawling/ live insects –Burdensome absenteeism –Nits not easily transferred –Misdiagnosis common if not by health provider"
Middletown schools adhere to recommendations of the CDC as follows: "Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. 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. Both the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that "no-nit" policies should be discontinued. "No-nit" policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons: Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as casings. Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people. The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice. Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by non-medical personnel.
Ocean County Schools Head Lice Policies
Children in the Barnegat district are to remain home until free of lice and nits. "Upon returning to school after treatment, they must be brought to school by a parent or guardian and checked and cleared by the school nurse."
The district requires students to be treated before returning to school, however there is not a "no nit" policy. "Your child must be treated and proof of purchase of treatment is required before returning to school. Please notify the school nurse of head lice. The nurse will check your child before returning to school. You should check your child for head lice on a regular basis. If head lice is not properly treated it will become a recurring problem."
Point Pleasant--No Lice or Nits (Lice Eggs) Allowed
"Children with head lice are excluded from school And may only return when there is no trace of lice. Please bring your child to the school nurses office the morning after treatment. The nurse must check your child before he or she is permitted to return to school. If a child in a particular class has head lice, the student is examined by the school nurse. Siblings of affected students should also be examined. Any child who has lice or nits is excluded from school until he or she shows no trace of lice. Students must be examined by Mrs. Ewtushek before they return to class. Classrooms are cleaned daily. Students' coats, hats, and scarves are contained in their lockers. Teachers have been instructed to send students to the nurse's office immediately if they suspect a case of head lice. Students are constantly discouraged from sharing personal belongings."