Head Lice Management in the School
During the school year when children are together we sometimes encounter the problem of head lice. Although head lice are not known to cause disease in affected persons, they feed on human blood (much like a mosquito) and are known to spread from person to person primarily through direct head to head contact. The first symptom often seen is the child scratching their head. While the head lice do not cause disease they are an annoying problem. At school, when the nurse is notified there is a case of head lice, we check close friends and contacts as well as siblings of the affected child. If your child is found to have lice you will be contacted and provided with essential information on how to proceed with treatment and we can help you understand what needs to be done to eliminate the problem as well as provide information on the identification of head lice infestation. Children found to have live lice are sent home until treated. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “no healthy child should be excluded from or allowed to miss school because of head lice, and that ‘no nit’ policies for return to school should be discouraged”. Here at Delano Public Schools we follow the recommendations of those that have great insights and have done research related to head lice. If you want further information about head lice management and diagnosis you can contact your health care provider or consult one of the resources listed below.
Center for disease control:
Harvard School of Public Health:
Minnesota Department of Health:
Anyone can get lice. Please stay alert to any signs your child may have lice and check your child’s head if you feel they may have been exposed to head lice. The web sights listed above can guide you in the detection of lice infestation. If you find lice on your child’s head please contact the school nurse. Unfortunately, head lice infestation has become a stigmatizing condition. It is often wrongly associated with being unclean or poor parenting. Parents that have received a call that their child has lice are often horrified and embarrassed and may feel ostracized. Please be sensitive to this if you know of someone that has head lice because your children learn from the way that you respond. Avoid over-reacting, help your child understand what head lice is and that it is a nuisance when someone gets it and instruct them on what to do to avoid getting it. Again, the links above can provide you with the information you need to respond appropriately.