• Head Lice Information for Schools

    Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.

    Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
    Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued. “No-nit” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons:

    • Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as ‘casings’.
    • Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.
    • The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
    • Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by nonmedical personnel.

    More on: Head Lice Treatment
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    INFORMATION FOR PARENTS:

    You should examine your child’s head, especially behind the ears and at the nape of the neck, for crawling lice and nits if your child exhibits symptoms of a head lice infestation. If crawling lice or nits are found, all household members should be examined for crawling lice and nits every 2–3 days. Persons with live (crawling) lice or nits within ¼ inch or less of the scalp should be treated.

    More on: Head Lice Symptoms
    To eliminate head lice successfully, it is very important that all treatment instructions and steps be carefully followed and completed.

    CDC does not make recommendations as to what specific product or products should be used to treat individuals. Both over-the-counter and prescription products are available. You may wish to contact your doctor, pharmacist, or health department for additional information about which product they recommend.

    More on: Head Lice Treatment

    Children diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.

    Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.



    All information on this page was directly cited from the Center for Disease Control website - you may visit by going to http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html