Comstock Park Public Schools
8450A – PEDICULOSIS (HEAD LICE)
If head lice is suspected:
While maintaining confidentiality and dignity, a trained designee from school should check the student for head lice in a private space.
If live lice are found, the school should call the parents and notify them of the head lice and the procedures to follow. Treatment that evening, and return to school the next schedules day should be emphasized. At the most, the student should not miss more than one school day. School exclusion is inappropriate and may have lasting harmful educational and social effects. Immediate removal of the child is unnecessary. If a child has lice, they likely may have been infested for weeks, and any likely transmission has already occurred. Immediate removal of the child from the classroom could lead to embarrassment and ridicule. Children can be sent home at the end of the day and they should be allowed to ride the bus home. Transmission via school bus seats is not likely because of the biology and life history of head lice.
Never initiate treatment unless there is a clear diagnosis with living lice. If nits are found student will remain in the classroom.
The student with suspected head lice should be discreetly restricted from activities involving close personal contact (e.g. hugging and team sports) and reminded not to share personal items, such as headphones. Outerwear should be segregated from that of others.
Send the informational letter, “Lice Found on Child”, home with the student.
If there are several cases in the same classroom, the principal may choose to send a letter to all classmates’ parents, asking them to check and treat all of their children as necessary.
Evidence has found that having mass screenings for head lice/nits in school does not reduce the incidence of head lice. More psychosocial harm and loss of learning time can result than the benefits justify.