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San Mateo and Burlingame School Head Lice Policies

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Updated on July 17, 2020

San Mateo

School districts can vary widely in how they approach the management of head lice. For example, schools in Burlingame only exclude children from the classroom if they show evidence of live adult bugs, while the San Mateo area schools strictly adhere to a no-nit policy with regard to cases of head lice. This means that children in those schools will be excluded from regular classroom attendance until there are no bugs OR NITS on their heads.


The Board of Trustees recognizes that head lice infestations among students require treatment, but do not pose a risk of transmitting disease. The Board of Trustees believes that the district's head lice management program should emphasize early detection and treatment of head lice in order to minimize disruption of the education process and to reduce the number of student absences resulting from infestation.

The Superintendent or designee may distribute information to parents/guardians of elementary school students regarding routine screenings, symptoms, accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment of head lice infestations. The Superintendent or designee also may provide related information to school staff.

School employees shall report all suspected cases of head lice to the school nurse or designee as soon as possible. If a student is found with active, adult head lice, the parent/guardian will be called and encouraged to pick up their child. The student shall be allowed to stay in school until the end of the school day. The parent/guardian of any such student shall receive information about the recommended treatment procedures for head lice and encouraged to begin treatment of the student immediately and to check all members of the family.

The parent/guardian also shall be informed that the student shall be checked upon return to school and allowed to remain in school only if no active head lice are detected. In order for the student to return to school, the parent/guardian will accompany their child to school for a readmission check. The school nurse or designee shall check the student for active head lice. If it is determined that the student remains infected with active head lice, the student cannot return to school and the school nurse or designee shall contact the student's parent/guardian to discuss further treatment options. As needed, he/she may provide additional resources and/or referral to the local health department, health care providers, or other agencies.

Source: Burlingame SD Board Policy

San Mateo

A Parent's Guide to Head Lice

We are seeing increasing numbers of students with lice and nits. Please remember that this is not a health issue so much as a nuisance issue. Please examine your childs head as well as all members of your household. You may use the information below to help identify lice. Anyone can get head lice. They are most common in young school-age children, but teens and adults can have it as well. What to Look For: - Nits on the hair shaft - Nits are the eggs which are oval, whitish-gray objects glued to the side of the hair shaft. Nits are most often found near the nape of the neck, behind the ears, and at the crown. - Lice in the hair - Lice are usually brown but can vary in color. They are the size of a sesame seed. They move quickly and keep out of the light.

Source San Mateo Foster City School District.

LiceDoctors can help get your child back into school after one treatment no matter what policy is in effect at your school. Call day or night at 415-578-1245. You will be glad you did. We guarantee it.