Quincy and Hingham School Lice Policies

apple sitting on books in front of a blackboard in a classroom

Quincy Public Schools

Quincy schools have adopted a nuanced lice policy to protect the privacy of individual students. They have dropped the “no nit” policy.

“Quincy Public Schools Guidelines to Head Lice Management

The Guidelines to Head Lice Management in the Quincy Public Schools have been updated to reflect the position statement and standard practice of the National Association of School Nurses, the American School Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Harvard School of Public Health. The discovery of lice creates fear and stress. Old fashioned “no-nit policies” were based on those emotions, not on scientific evidence.

The information below will explain the reasons for this change and help you understand why this does NOT put your child at more risk for getting head lice, as well as outline the Guidelines to Head Lice Management your school nurse will follow.

1.) School is NOT a high risk area for getting lice.

  • Over the last 10 years, multiple studies have proven that school rarely is the place of lice transmission.
  • Most cases of head lice are acquired outside of school (friends and family members who often play or live together).
  • In the rare case when the spread of head lice has occurred at school, it is among young children and likely a result of them playing very close together.

2.) Lice do not cause disease and are not dangerous to the child or others.

  • Head lice is a nuisance, not a serious disease or a sign of poor hygiene.
  • No one should be treated with pesticide shampoo unless they have a confirmed case of lice.

3.) No matter how careful staff is to protect the privacy of students, when a student leaves class and does not come back, most students and parents figure out the child who has lice.

  • This can be very embarrassing for the child and the family.
  • By the time lice is discovered, the child has usually had them for 3-4 weeks.

4.) Evidence-based studies show that keeping a child in school who has lice/nits does not pose harm to the school community.

  • It is important to provide accurate health education to the school community about the origin, transmission, assessment and treatment of head lice.
  • Evidence-based strategies for the management of head lice in the school setting can reduce the social stigma, and the negative impact on student’s education.

Management

What will the school nurse do if a case of lice is reported or found?

  • Parents will be informed if their child has lice. Parents WILL NOT be informed of other children who have lice in school, as that is a privacy concern.
  • The school nurse will check any student reported to have lice along with their siblings since lice is often spread within the home. If live lice are found, the parent will be notified and the student will be dismissed. After treatment at home and upon returning to school, the parent will accompany the student and the school nurse will assess. If sufficient treatment was not completed, the child will go home with his/her parent.
  • If a student is found to have viable nits/eggs, (those a 1⁄2 inch or closer to the scalp) the parent will be notified, the student will remain in school until dismissal. The parent is expected to manually remove the nits. Upon returning to school, the parent will accompany the student and the school nurse will assess. If sufficient treatment was not completed, the child will go home with his/her parent.
  • If a student is found to have nonviable nits/eggs (those 1⁄2 inch or farther away on the hair shaft) they will be monitored and may remain at school. These children do not need to be treated at this time. Exposure to insecticide shampoo can be dangerous and should only be used when absolutely necessary.
  • If any nits are found at the time of either the initial or return check, the student will be rechecked at the discretion of the school nurse after an individualized assessment of the student.
  • If a parent does not follow through with the proper treatment (eliminating lice and nits), then the child with lice will be excluded from school until proper treatment has been completed.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school nurse.” Source: Quincy PS Guidelines. 

Hingham Public Schools

This school district maintains its “no nit” lice policy. Children with nits will not be permitted into school.

Communicable Diseases /Chicken Pox

If your child has a communicable disease, please inform the nurse. Students may return to school as follows:

Head Lice 24 hours after treatment if they are found to be nit free when checked by the school nurse.” Source: Hingham School

 

If you encounter head lice in your children and would like our professional help, give us a call at 617-517-4197. LiceDoctors makes house calls in the Quincy area day and night, 365 days a year.