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EGUSD Head Lice Policy

EGUSD Head Lice Policy (BP 5141.33)

Head lice continues to be an ongoing nuisance.   While a significant social problem, head lice does not transmit disease to humans.  Head lice do not fly or jump.


·         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 known as castings.

·         Nits stick to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.

·         The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families, and school communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.


The essentials of our lice policy are as follows:


1.      Implementation of head lice surveillance and control procedures are based upon current scientific research and best practice.

2.      School staff is trained by the credentialed school nurse in head lice detection and management procedures.

3.      Information about head lice infestation is to be shared on a “need to know” basis as deemed appropriate by the credentialed school nurse.

4.      Maintaining confidentiality of the student information is in compliance with FERPA.


The goals of the EGUSD’s lice policy:


1.      Decrease school absenteeism.

2.      Maintain student privacy.

3.      Support families in their efforts to control and eliminate live head lice.


When a student is found to have lice:


·         When it is determined that a student in a class has head lice, the principal or designee shall notify parents/guardians of students in that class and provide them with information about the detection and treatment of head lice.

·         The credentialed school nurse will provide the notification letter.

·         If a student is found with active, adult head lice, he/she shall be allowed to stay in school until the end of the school day.

·         The parent is informed of treatment options and encouraged to begin treatment immediately and check all members of the family.

·         Student’s head checked upon return to school by credentialed school nurse or designated school staff trained by credentialed school nurse.

·         The parent/guardian also shall be informed that the student shall be checked upon return to school the next day and allowed to remain in school if no active head lice are detected.

·         If live head lice are found the process of notification to the student’s parents/guardians begins again.

·         If the student has siblings, all sibling(s) attending the school site will be checked.

·         If the student has other siblings (not in the immediate school), notify the parent/guardian and recommend precautionary measures to avoid family infestation.

·         Full Classroom screenings for head lice are NOT done: “Current evidence does not support the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of classroom or school-wide screening for decreasing the incidence of head lice among children” (per CDC, May 2007). The classroom is only one of many environments where head lice can be transmitted.

·         The credentialed school nurse will maintain a head lice log for the school site.  School site staff will notify the credentialed school nurse when a student on campus has been identified to have live lice.


Environmental Control:

a.       Encourage students to avoid sharing hats, combs, coats, pillows, or other personal items.

b.      No environmental pesticide treatments (pesticide bombs) are to be used.

c.       Girls with long hair may want to wear their hair in “contained” hair styles (ponytails, buns, braids, etc.).

d.      It is suggested to keep each student’s hat and other clothing, and coats on separate hooks or back of the student’s chair.

e.       The credentialed school nurse can use professional judgment to determine when unusual measures are necessary to respond to extraordinary cases, i.e.- increase vacuuming in classroom.

f.        To prevent re-infestation following treatment, clothing and bedding should be laundered in hot water (140 degrees F for 20 minutes) followed by a hot drying cycle to destroy lice and eggs.  Since lice eggs hatch within 6-10 days and lice live only 1-2 days away from the scalp, storing infested items in a sealed plastic bag for 10 days is effective for items that cannot be laundered.

Notification Process

a.       The customary notification for the presence of head lice is to be done to the parent/guardian of an infested student.

b.      Classroom notifications must be done with any head lice case. The credentialed school nurse will provide the letter to use for this notification.



Guidance of Head Lice Prevention and Control of School Districts and Child Care Facilities, California Department of Public Health, Vector-Borne Disease Section (2012).

Center for Disease Control: Head Lice:, May 16, 2007 and September 24, 2013

Clinical Report On Head Lice, Barbara L. Frankowski, MD, MPH, Joseph A. Bocchini, Jr, MD, Council on School Health and Committee on Infectious Disease, PEDIATRICS Vol. 126 No. 2 August 2010.

Exclusion of Children with Head Lice or Nits from Child Care (white Paper) July 22, 2010. Washington State Department of Early Learning,

Frankowski, B.L., Bocchini, J.A. Jr., and the Council of School Health and Committee on Infectious Diseases.  Clinical Report Head Lice. 2010. Pediatrics 126: 392 – 403.

Frequently Asked Questions: Head Lice. Identify Us. 2010.

Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff; Washington State Department of Health; Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. June 2004.

Informal Parent Survey of Parent Attitudes Around Head Lice Notification, Buter, Leslie A. RN, BSN, & Sutherland, Nancy N. RN, MEd. October, 2010.

Managing Head Lice in the School Setting (PowerPoint). Cole, Marjorie, RN MSN. 2005. National Assembly of School Nurses Listserve.

Schoessler, S.Z. 2004.  Treating and managing head lice: the school nurse perspective.  American Journal of Managed Care. 10(9 Suppl): S273-6.

Global Handwashing Day – October 15

Not only is the cold and flu season upon us, but Global Handwashing Day is also approaching. Handwashing with soap is an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

·         Wash your hand with soap before eating, cooking, or feeding others

·         Make handwashing part of your family routine

·         Help children develop good handwashing habits

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