School response to cases of head lice

In keeping with our policy of avoiding the unnecessary exclusion of students from school, the district will not exclude otherwise healthy students from school due to nit (lice egg/larvae) infestations. Students with adult head lice infestations will be excluded from school only to the minimum extent necessary for treatment. To avoid the unnecessary exclusion of students from school, the administration provides the following procedure:

1. Schools will not perform routine school wide head lice screening. However, should multiple cases be reported, the nurse/health aide may identify students most likely to have been exposed and arrange to have that population of students examined.

2. If the school nurse/health aide or teacher discovers head lice or nits, the parent/guardian of that student will be notified, and other students who reside with the infested student will also be checked.

3. The school nurse will instruct the parent/guardian concerning various shampoos, sprays and other appropriate treatments that can be purchased to eliminate head lice or nits and will also give information concerning necessary procedures to be taken in the home to ensure that the head lice are eliminated.

4. If the student was infested with live head lice, the student should be removed from school by parent/guardian and may not return to school until treatment is completed and no live head lice remain.

5. When a student who had a live head lice infestation returns to school, the student will be transported by a parent/guardian and the student will be examined by the school nurse/health aide. If live head lice are found at that time, the parent/guardian will be reinstructed concerning treatment. The student will be excluded from school until the student is free of head lice.

6. A student who was identified as having nits but not a live head lice infestation will be re-examined within five calendar days of the initial identification. If this examination reveals nits are still present, the parent/guardian will again be instructed on treatment options. This process will repeat until the student is free of nits.

7. The school nurse/health aide will keep accurate and confidential records of students infested with head lice or nits.

8. If it appears the parent/guardian of an infested student is failing to secure timely treatment for the infestation after having been given notice of the existence of head lice or nits in accordance with these procedures, the nurse/health aide will notify the school principal, who may report the matter to the Children's Division (CD) of the Department of Social Services.

The school nurse/health aide will develop education programs regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of head lice for staff, students, parents and the community.

Any questions should be directed to our director of health services at (816) 847-5006 x1409.

You can also visit the CDC website for more information:
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