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5062 - Lice and Nits


Lice and Nits



  1.        To control the spread of lice in the school setting
  2.        Prevent alienation of students and families while protecting privacy
  3.        Minimize potential absenteeism due to head lice
  4.        Promote open communication and partnership between the school and parents in controlling head lice
  5.        Foster teamwork among school nurse, teachers, staff, and administration in managing head lice


General Information:

  1. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), head lice are a nuisance and do not cause disease or illness and children should not be excluded from school due to having live lice or nits. Most cases of head lice are acquired outside of a school setting.
  2. Lice cannot hop, jump, or fly. They are transmitted through head-to-head contact or immediate sharing of hair combs, brushes, or accessories. Students must be discouraged from sharing hats and hair care items while at school.
  3. Individual students must not be singled out for lice screening more frequently than suggested in this policy
  4. Home cooperation and classroom surveillance  vital for controlling the spread of head lice and absenteeism from school
  5. The AAP also states there is no treatment for head lice that is 100% effective, therefore, manual nit removal must be emphasized (combing with special comb and using fingers to remove individual nits and lice).



The purpose of head lice screening will be to discreetly confirm cases of head lice that exist in school. Indications for head lice screening in the student population are:

  1.        School staff reports suspected case of head lice to the school nurse or administrator
  2.       A parent or guardian reports seeing head lice on a student; and/or
  3.        Report of head lice of a sibling student within the WPPS school district


Screening Procedure

  1. If a child is suspected of have head lice or nits:
    1.        The student will be checked.
    2.       If the student has siblings enrolled at WPPS, the siblings may be checked (if indicated).
    3.        Notification of parent/guardian by school nurse or office staff by phone.
  2. Recommendation for Screening:
    1. Screenings will be conducted with discretion and privacy. When a student is suspected of having head lice, the nurse may request the student to report to the nurse’s office for an unspecified reason so to protect the privacy of the student.
    2. The school nurse will use professional judgement in determining the presence of live lice or nits which are typically found to be securely cemented to the shaft of the hair around the nape of the neck, behind the ears, and around the crown.
  3.        Parents/guardians of the student with live lice will be contacted by the nurse the same day the lice are found. Notification will include:
    1.        Discovery of live lice
    2.       Student will go home at the end of the day
    3.        Parents/guardians will have the option to pick up student earlier, if desired, to begin treatment
    4.       Immediate treatment is necessary
      1.  Over-the-counter pediculocides (lice kits) are available to purchase at the expense of the parent/guardian
      2.  Combing out live lice and nits are essential to effective treatment
      3.  Provide print material on lice management for parents
      4.  Ongoing home surveillance by parents and nit removal will be necessary after initial treatment
      5.  On return, the student will be checked by school nurse to ensure treatment was done.
  4.        The school nurse will contact parent/guardian as needed after student returns to school for the following reasons:
    1.  If treatment is not successful:
      1.        Discuss with parents the necessary steps of treatment
      2.        If necessary, request the parent come to school to discuss treatment plan
  5.  Families who have been frustrated by treatment failure or re-infestations may need a great deal of positive reinforcement and encouragement to gain control over the condition and return their child to school successfully. Families can be referred to their medical provider for treatment recommendations, if needed, at the expense of the parent.
  6. After 3rd consecutive incidence of live lice or if the student is not being treated, the student may be excluded from school until lice free.


Parent Education

  1.        Check your child’s hair on a regular basis
  2.        Children most frequently acquire head lice outside of school such at sleepovers, camps, and other social situations where head-to-head contact is    commonplace.
  3.        Head lice affects everyone and does not signify poor hygiene
  4.        The AAP also states that excluding kids from school due to having head lice is cruel and unjust


Staff Education

  1.        Lice do not hop or fly but are transmitted directly through direct contact
  2.        Teach students to place hats, mittens, and scarves inside coat/jacket sleeves before hanging on hooks separately or placing in lockers
  3.        While not a common means of transference, encourage children not to share or use their friends’ combs, brushes, hair ornaments, hats, caps, scarves, pillows, or any other personal headgear.


Adopted on:            08/13/2012

Revised on:            11/16/2015

Reviewed on:         11/16/2015

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