Pickerington Schools operate using no exclusion evidenced-based practice, which means that a student suspected or confirmed to have head lice or nits shall remain in school and is not isolated or otherwise subjected to restrictions of activities.
The student’s parent or guardian shall be informed that their child is suspected of being infested by head lice and will be offered information and guidance on the biology and management of the condition. It is expected that the parent or guardian will provide appropriate treatment for the condition and the student will return to school the next day.
Guidelines for Management of Head Lice and Nits
PLSD operates on a no exclusion evidenced-based practice supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Association of School Nurses.
Reminders to staff and parents or guardians on lice prevention and management will be sent home to families at regular intervals throughout the school year in an effort to sustain a positive attitude toward containment of head lice/nits and discourage head-to-head contact.
When a school staff member is notified by a parent or guardian that a student has lice, the staff member will notify the building school nurse. The school nurse will contact the parent or guardian to provide information about diagnosis and management of lice. The nurse will offer services (if needed) to support the family.
Confidentiality of a student with suspected or confirmed lice or nits will be maintained.
By the end of the school day, the school nurse will notify parents or guardians of students with suspected lice or nits by phone. The student will not be excluded from school and may be transported home by bus.
The school nurse and building principal shall work with the parents and guardians of any student who has been determined to have a chronic infestation of head lice. This will be done through advocating for the education of staff, students, and parents or guardians about head lice and promoting evidenced-based management for students with head lice.
What are head lice?
Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live close to the human scalp. They feed on blood. The eggs, also called nits, are tiny, tear-drop shaped eggs that attach to the hair shaft. Nits often appear yellowish or white and can look like dandruff but cannot be removed or brushed off. The nymph, or baby louse, is smaller and grow to adult size in one to two weeks. The adult louse is the size of a sesame seed appears tan to grayish-white. An itchy and inflamed scalp is a common symptom of lice. Although not common, persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation and even infection.
Who is affected by head lice?
Head lice are not related to cleanliness. In fact, head lice often infest people with good hygiene and grooming habits. Infestations can occur at home, school or in the community. Head lice are mostly spread by direct head-to-head contact—for example, during play at home or school, slumber parties, sports activities or camp. Less often, lice are spread via objects that have been in recent contact with a person with head lice, such as hats, scarves, hair ribbons, combs, brushes, stuffed animals or bedding.
What to do if an infestation occurs?
If you think your child has head lice, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider to discuss the best treatment approach for your family. Resistance to some over-the-counter head lice treatments has been reported, but the prevalence of resistance is not known. There are new prescription treatment options available that are safe and do not require nit combing.