Lice Guidelines


During each school year, we can expect to find some cases of head lice among our students. To control outbreaks in our schools, the Boyertown Area School District follows the PA Guidelines for School Based Program for Control for Lice Infestation (2011). 

Any student identified by the school nurse as having active head lice will be excluded from school and riding the school bus. In order to return to school and riding the bus, the following must occur:

  1. The student must be treated with an approved pediculicide. An empty bottle or dated receipt must be provided to the school nurse as proof of the treatment.
  2. Schedule an appointment with the school nurse to have the student rechecked for lice. If no live lice or viable nits are found, the student may return to school and riding the bus.
  3. The student should receive a second treatment in 7-10 days. An empty bottle or dated receipt must be provided to the school nurse as proof of the second treatment.
  4. Schedule an appointment with the school nurse after the second treatment to have the student rechecked for treatment effectiveness.
  5. If live lice or viable nits are found after the first or second treatment, the student will be excluded from school and riding the bus and the above process will start over.
  6. This is the Parent Checklist for treating lice at home.

     

            Illustration of a nit.                                              Photo of an adult louse.                                        Photo of a nymph.

                        Nit                                                     Adult Louse                                        Nymph (baby)



    By making sure you’ve done all the suggestions on the check list below, you’ll be more likely to completely get rid of the lice and decrease the chance of reinfestation.   

       Examine everyone in householdThose found to have lice or nits should be treated with lice shampoo (pediculicide) at the same time. Consult your physician for those who are pregnant, nursing, or under 2 years old.  Please read the label for instructions and application.

    Removing Nits.  Part the hair every ½ inch to see if you find any nits on the hair shafts.  Remove

                them with a nit comb that is often packaged with the shampoo. Place them on a paper towel and

    flush down the toilet when finished.  Removal of nits with a fine tooth comb after shampooing significantly reduces the risk of re-infestation.

         WASH clothing, coats, hats, bedding, and towels that have been in contact with the child during the last three days.  Use the hottest water possible and dry at the hottest setting possible for 20 minutes.  Wash the coats of other family members that may have contact with the child’s coat.

    □     BAG anything that cannot be washed such as stuffed animals and other cloth toys, cloth hair bands, helmets, and clothing that must be dry cleaned in a tightly sealed bag for at least 2 weeks.

    □    SOAK combs, brushes, and all washable hair items in a solution of hot water and lice shampoo for 30 minutes.  Rinse with warm water.

    VACUUM carpets, floors, upholstered furniture, pillows, mattress, and the car seats.  It is recommended to immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in the outside trash can.

    □      Continue Daily Head Checks until nit free for 10 days. 

    □       Retreat with lice lice shampoo (pediculicide) in 7 to 10 days to prevent reinfestation.

    □      Guard against re-infestation.  Remind your child not to share hats, hair items, combs and brushes, coats, pillows or sleeping bags with other children and also not to whisper to each other.

     

    *   Returning to School: Your child may return to school within 24 hours after he/she has been treated with a lice shampoo (pediculicide). The parent or guardian must remove all live lice after shampooing and attempt to remove nits prior to readmission by the school nurse.  The school nurse will examine your child’s head prior to readmission to school. The child is not to ride the school bus or attend class until cleared for readmission by the school nurse. Please provide proof of treatment (dated receipt, empty product bottle) to the school nurse at this check for re-admission.

**If a student continues to have active head lice after two at-home treatments, it is strongly recommended that you contact a physician for further assessment and treatment options.

*In lieu of seeing the school nurse for treatment effectiveness, a student may see a physician to determine if proper treatment has occurred and the student is cleared to return to school and riding the bus. If the student is seen by a private physician, a note clearing the student to return to school and riding the bus is required.

The National Pediculosis Association urges families to “Screen, Detect, Remove, Protect”through routine screening, early detection and thorough nit removal to stop head lice and the disruption they can bring to families and communities. 

  • Head lice are a parasite of humans. Many people associate lice with unclean people or homes but this is not true. Frequent bathing or shampooing will not prevent lice nor eliminate them once they are established. Pets do not transmit lice. Children should be warned against sharing hats, clothing, combs, and brushes.
  • The single most effective means for protecting children from head lice is to "Screen, detect, remove, protect!"

  • Screening and early detection for head lice can be compared to other basic and affordable health measures that never change. Tooth brushing still helps protect against cavities and hand washing still protects against infection. Routine screening with early intervention is still the best prevention of not just lice, but the panic that can come when everyone is caught by surprise.
  • Lice are small insects about the size of a sesame seed. They are usually light brown but can vary in color. They move quickly and shy away from light. Diagnosing lice is often made by finding nits or eggs attached to the hair shaft. Nits are tiny, yellow-white oval eggs attached to the hair shaft. Unlike lint or dandruff, nits will not wash off or blow away. They are most commonly found at the nape of the neck, behind the ear, and at the crown.
  • Symptoms of head lice infestation can include itching, scratching, red bite marks on the scalp and neck, and the presence of lice and nits. The school nurse or your family physician can assist if you suspect your child may have head lice.
  • For your convenience, please see the Parent Lice Checklist above to help you manage lice at home.