School Head Lice Policy- Salt Lake City and Surrounding Areas In an effort to retain children in school so they do not miss class and in order not to stigmatize children with head lice, if a child is found to have lice, he or she may remain in school until the end of the school day. Utah schools place an emphasis on education regarding head lice and offer parents information on how to identify lice, how lice are transmitted, and suggestions on how to treat head lice. The schools require that at the end of the school day, parents treat their child before sending him or her back to school. Excerpts of the Utah schools’ policy are as follows: “Methods of Transmission Almost exclusively by contact with an infested person. Transmission can occur from sharing hats, combs and brushes, or by other articles recently in contact with the head of an infested person. Lice DO NOT jump or fly. Hair length does not influence infestation. Minimum Control Measures If a child is assessed as having a head lice infestation, confidentiality must be maintained so the child is not embarrassed. Communicable Period: From time of infestation until after completion of initial treatment. ControlOn the day of diagnosis, the person infested with head lice should be allowed to remain in class or in day care, but should be discouraged from close direct contact with others. This is because an individual with a head lice infestation has likely had the infestation for several days or weeks, and at this point poses little risk to others. The child’s parent or guardian should be notified that day by telephone or a note sent home with the child at the end of the school day stating that prompt, proper treatment of this condition is in the best interest of the child and his or her classmates. The Utah Department of Health also recommends that the school (or day care) notify the parent/guardian of each child in the same classroom (or day care program) where the head lice infestation has occurred that their child has been exposed to a person with a head lice infestation. It is help if parents/guardians of exposed students/children be provided with instructions with how to check for and treat head lice.”
Overall a Lenient Policy
Basically, the Salt Lake City schools have a fairly lenient policy with respect to head lice and children attending schools. This is in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses, who recommend that healthy children with head lice/nits be allowed to attend school and that they should be treated at home. LiceDoctors recommends that you check with your school nurse to be sure that you are up-to-date on the specifics of your school head lice policy.