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Head Lice Policy 2019

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Head Lice Policy 2019

Head lice have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness of the home or school is not a cause for having head lice. Live head lice are spread from direct head-to-head contact. Head lice move by crawling, they do not jump or fly. Head lice eggs (or nits) are not transmissible. Although uncommon, the spread of lice by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by a person with lice is possible.

The Elementary School has proactively installed individual cubbies for students’ personal items: backpacks, hats and coats. We also do not allow the sharing of headphones.  USD 342 DOES NOT follow a “no-nit” policy due to lack of medical and scientific evidence to support the adoption of such policy.

  • Routine screenings for head lice are not conducted. Head lice screenings have not shown a significant effect on the incident of head lice.
  • If head lice are identified at school, the nurse will notify the parent/guardian of the need for treatment. The student may remain in school until the end of the day.
  • Re-screening of students returning to school is only to be done at the request of the parent.
  • Outbreak letters will NOT be sent home.

The CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, KDHE and the National Association of School Nurses hold the same view:

“Communication between school personnel and parents/caregivers highlighting cases of head lice (e.g., “Head lice outbreak letters”) has been shown to increase community anxiety, increase social stigma causing embarrassment of the affected infested students and puts students' rights to confidentiality at risk (Gordon, 2007; Pontius, 2014).”

Etiology, diagnosis and treatment recommendations can be found at the following websites:

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/2/392

http://www.kdheks.gov/c-f/head_lice.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/index.html

https://www.nasn.org/nasn/advocacy/professional-practice-documents/position-statements/ps-head-lice