Lice Policy Rochester, New York Public Schools and Surrounding Areas Despite the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that schools allow students with lice to attend, schools in the Rochester areas have their own lice policies, which differ from district to district. Should schools have a "No-Nit" Policy? According to the School Health Services web page of New York State, “American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) attempts to clarify diagnosis and treatment of head lice and makes recommendations for dealing with this condition in school. Among its recommendations, the AAP says no healthy child should be excluded from, or allowed to miss school because of head lice, and that "no nit" policies for return to school should be discouraged. Numerous anecdotal reports exist of children missing weeks of school and even being forced to repeat a grade because of head lice. Although not painful or a serious health hazard, head lice are the cause of much embarrassment and misunderstanding, many unnecessary days lost from school and work, and millions of dollars spent on remedies.” Some schools in the Rochester area maintain strict “no nit” lice policies, sending kids home if they have any signs of nits in the hair, while others allow children to return to school after treatment. Please check with your local district to be sure that you have the most up-to-date policy. Below is a sample of school lice policies in the Rochester area.
Rochester School District
The Rochester schools require that for all communicable diseases: “Parents must report any communicable diseases their children might have (e.g., chicken pox, strep throat, ringworm, head lice, impetigo, scabies). For all of the diseases listed, except for chicken pox and head lice, the school needs to receive a note from a doctor saying the child has been treated. The child needs to be seen in the school nurse’s office before returning to class if he/she has had head lice. Learn more at www.schoolhealthservicesny.com.
East Irondequoit Central School District
This district spells out its lice policy online as, “If you see any stage of the head louse, nits (eggs) attached to the hair shaft that are hard to remove or live lice, your child needs to be treated, and the nits removed before you send your child back to school. “
Penfield School District
Nearby Penfield maintains a policy similar to East Irondequoit Central School District, and they recommend ways to identify nits and lice in the head as follows: “One of the most common signs of head lice is itching of the head. If you notice your child scratching his/her head, h/she may have head lice. Please check your child daily for a week to ten days and then at least once weekly for the next few weeks. Examine and treat other family members if needed. Examine each person in bright light. You need to:
- separate the hair
- check behind the ears
- check the back of the head
- check the top of the head
If you find eggs or lice cemented to the hair shaft or live lice crawling on the hair or scalp, please do not send your child to school until you have adequately treated your child with the first treatment, usually 4 oz. of medicine per six inches of hair. (LiceDoctors Ed Note: LiceDoctors treatment protocol has been used successfully on families in this district). Please contact your private health care provider to discuss proper management, and notify the school nurse of your findings and treatment. The school nurse will check all children diagnosed with head lice after treatment and before they return to the classroom and again every day for 10 to 14 days after each treatment. If you see live lice, and begin proper treatment, please do your best to de-nit your child by wet-combing your child’s hair with a fine comb, and then return your child to school the day after treatment.” Learn more at www.penfield.edu.
Webster Public Schools
Webster Public School District is a “no nit” district; students with nits (eggs) are not allowed to attend school. The web site states: “Head lice are transmitted through brushes, pillows, towels, hats and head-to-head contact, so please remind your children: do not share hats, hair brushes, hair ribbons/ties & combs with classmates & friends, even your best friend!. Webster Central School District is a No-Nit District. Live lice lay nits. If live lice or unhatched nits are identified, the student must go home. Consult your healthcare provider for appropriate treatment. The student will be allowed back in school after treatment and all lice and unhatched nits are removed . A parent/guardian must accompany the student to school (do not send on the bus) so the school nurse can check the student’s hair for unhatched nits. If any are present, the student must go home. When the student re-enters school, the school nurse will check for nits at 7, 10, 14, 21 and 30 days.” In recent months, schools have been revising their lice policies. Check with your school nurse to be sure that you are aware of your child’s school policy. Learn more at www.websterschools.org