Policies and Regulations → Section J → JP → Student Health Services and Requirements
Last revised: December 10, 2007
To establish procedures for preventing the spread of head lice (pediculosis capitis).
Head lice are common among children. Lice can be readily transmitted in schools, homes, camps, backyards, and playgrounds. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other health authorities, head lice are not a health hazard or sign of uncleanliness and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. Nits (lice eggs) that are not viable (½ inch or more from the scalp) do not cause the spread of head lice. The spread of lice is best prevented by providing parents/guardians with accurate information about the identification and treatment of head lice and nits.
A student is considered to have infestation with head lice if live lice and/or viable nits (those that are closer than ½ inch from the scalp) are observed. Students with infestation are excluded from school to obtain treatment with a pediculocide in order to prevent spreading lice to other students. Health care providers are a resource for treatment. Removal of nits located ½ inch or more from the scalp is recommended to avoid identification confusion.
Every effort should be made to minimize time away from school and to expedite treatment for students who are excluded due to head lice infestation. Head lice screening programs are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics because the screenings have not proven to have a significant effect on the incidences of head lice in a school community.