The building administrator will designate one-two staff other than a nurse to be trained and available in cases of head lice.
- Suspected cases of head lice will be referred to trained school staff.
- If students are identified with live lice by either the presence of lice or nits, trained school staff should complete the following by the end of the school day:
a. Student may remain in class until the end of the school day. They will be told to avoid close head contact.
b. Notify teacher and notify parents of the student(s) with identified head lice.
c. If applicable, screen siblings or close contacts for lice, or notify their school.
d. The pamphlet “Facing Head Lice: A Guide for Families” from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) will be sent home with the affected student for the parents.
- The classroom teacher will be notified that the student was checked and can return to class.
- The School Nurse or trained staff may re-check the student in 7-10 days.
- Notify parent of the findings and the need for them to follow through on their responsibility below. If student attends daycare, ask parent to let daycare know prior to child’s attendance there.
- Classroom head check procedures will follow recommendations of the most recent edition of the OSPI “Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff.” An outbreak is defined as 3 or more unrelated cases in one classroom.
- All students will be able to ride the bus as usual the first day but they will be advised to avoid close head contact.
Check your student before school starts in the fall and before returning from school breaks.
- Contact the school if you know or suspect that your child has lice.
- Inform family and friends so they can check their children.
- Treat your child and follow the guidelines “Facing Head Lice: A Guide for Families” pamphlet from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
- If you or the school finds lice please know your child should return to school with appropriate treatment within one to two days given that no live bugs remain.
- It is possible after treatment that nits will remain but your child could return to school if cleared by school trained staff. Continue combing and picking for nits daily for two weeks. It is important to focus on the head.
- If your child is an elementary student, you or another adult must accompany your child back to school to be cleared to return to class by trained school staff. If there are no live lice and treatment has been followed per “Facing Head Lice: A Guide for Families” pamphlet then the child can return to class.
- If your child is in secondary school they must be cleared by trained school staff (which means no live lice) in order to return to class. If they are not cleared to return to class the parent will need to be able to provide transportation home that morning.
- Examine all household members and treat anyone infested. DO NOT TREAT children under the age of 2. If a child under the age of two is affected consult with your health care provider for safe options.
- Soak brushes, combs, hair clips in pediculocide shampoo or rinse/soak in hot water above 120 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Wash clothing, bedding and linensthe affected person used within the past two days by machine washing and drying using the hot cycle for 30 minutes.
- Vacuum all rugs, carpets, furniture, car, car seats and strollers. Discard the vacuum bag. If using a bagless vacuum, securely bag vacuum contents immediately after vacuuming.
- Use of environmental sprays is NOT recommended due to possible toxicity and ineffectiveness.
- It is unsafe to use kerosene or defoggers. Use only products recommended in the “Facing Head Lice: A Guide for Families” pamphlet or by your health care provider.
Teacher Responsibility (if outbreak or not):
- Discourage close head contact in your classroom. Separate coats by hanging on the back of individual chairs. Put hats and gloves in pockets or sleeves of student’s coat.
- Recognize that lice are an infestation and are communicable, meaning any of your students may be affected.
- Assist in monitoring student attendance until treatment and re-screening is completed.
- Protect the identity of students with head lice.
- Send home lice letter to parents with students in the affected classroom if an outbreak is indicated in the most recent edition of the OSPI “Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff.”
- Be alert to signs of potential lice infestation in other students, such as scratching the head, particularly at the nape of the neck.
- Specify full time building staff member(s) to be trained regarding lice identification.
- Provide letter home to teacher for classroom that the student is in if an outbreak is indicated in the most recent edition of the OSPI “Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff.”
- Assist the teacher and nurse in managing student attendance until treatment and re-screening is completed.
- Students are expected back in school within one to two days of parent notification of the lice concern and with appropriate treatment. It is understood that nits may still be present.
- Protect the confidentiality of students and their families.
- Be aware of parent’s responsibility and enlist the nurse’s help in ensuring that parents understand lice treatment and protocol.
- It may be necessary for trained staff or nurse to recheck students in 7-10 days.
- Provide lice letter to office manager/teacher for distribution to class if an outbreak is indicated in the most recent edition of the OSPI “Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff.”
- Provide pamphlet “Facing Head Lice: A Guide for Families” from the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
- Provide training to office staff on lice detection and procedures to follow.
- Coordinate with office staff regarding tracking students with confirmed cases of lice.
- Provide and support staff education on lice procedure.
- Provide educational letter via school publication on lice procedure.
- Work with office staff on a plan to recheck student with nits weekly until they are gone.
- Make sure student’s attendance is monitored
- AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics) policy on head lice
- Seattle King County Department of Public Health: Lice information
- Harvard School of Public Health
- NASN (National Assn. of School Nurses) Pediculosis Position Statement
Highline School District 401
Approved by the Superintendent: August 28, 1985
Revised by the Superintendent: 04.86, 08.89, 09.91,04.08, 01.12, 07.18