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Head Lice

Lice Policy

SWEDESBORO-WOOLWICH SCHOOL DISTRICT HEAD LICE POLICY The Goals of the Swedesboro-Woolwich School District Lice Policy are to: 1. Decrease school absenteeism 2. Support families in their efforts to control and eliminate head lice 3. Maintain student privacy 4. Ensure our school nursing practice is within evidence based, current standards of care for our students. PROCEDURES FOR HEAD LICE MANAGEMENT AT SCHOOL: When a student is found to have live head lice, the school nurse will make an assessment and notify the parent or guardian. The student may be picked up for treatment, or it may be decided that the student will stay in school and be treated at home that night. The school nurse will educate the parent on effective methods of home treatment and preventive methods. The nurse will refer the parent to contact their medical home for any specific treatment product recommendation. When a student is found to have nits present but no live head lice, the student will not be excluded. The school nurse will notify the parent to encourage continued treatment at home. Additionally: 1. There are no mass screenings of students by the nurse, and therefore no classroom screenings. 2. The school nurse will ensure that the classroom teacher is apprised of the situation and trained in the appropriate protocols to prevent the spread of head lice in the classroom. 3. The nurse will check any specific student if that student is demonstrating symptoms, such as itching. Adopted: 2/8/17     

10 Useful Steps to Keep Ahead of Head Lice

1) Watch for signs of head lice, such as frequent head scratching. Anyone can get lice, mainly from direct head-to-head contact, sharing hats, brushes, etc.

2) Check all family members for lice and nits (lice eggs) at least once a week.

3) Be sure not to confuse nits with hair debris, (i.e., dandruff, hair spray droplets or hair casts). Nits are yellowish-white, oval shaped and are attached at an angle to the side of the hair shaft.

4) Consult a pharmacist or physician before applying pesticides or other lice treatments if anyone involved is pregnant or nursing, has allergies, asthma, or has nits in the eyebrows or lashes. Never use a pesticide or lice treatment on or near the eyes.

5) Consider all of your treatment options. Remember, lice-killing products are pesticides and must be used with caution. If you choose alternative methods, they may not have been studied thoroughly enough to determine long-term outcomes. The only completely safe alternative is manual removal by combing. 

6) Remove all nits. Separate hair sections and remove nits with a lice comb, baby safe scissors or your fingernails.

7) For lice treatment, follow package directions carefully. Use the products over the sink, not in the tub!

8) Wash bedding and recently worn clothing in hot water (above 130°F) and dry in high heat for 30 minutes. Combs and brushes should be soaked in hot water (not boiling) for 10 minutes. 

9) Avoid lice sprays! Vacuuming is the safest and best way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from furniture, rugs, stuffed animals and car seats. 

10) Notify your child’s school, child-care provider, play partners, and neighborhood parents. Check for lice on a regular basis.