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). When an active head louse infestation is detected by the school nurse, the student’s parent or guardian will be asked to come to school and take the student home for treatment. The parent or guardian will be informed of two options for treatment: (1) Contact their family physician for diagnosis and treatment or (2) be provided with a checklist (please click Here for copy of the checklist) for at home treatment using an over-the-counter pediculicide which is a substance used to treat lice. The school nurse will also check any siblings in grades K through 12 that may have been exposed or possibly be infested with head lice or nits.
Students with head lice will be excluded from school and from riding the school bus until the school nurse or child’s physician determines the student has received proper treatment and is non-infectious. (If your child is seen by a private physician, a note is required that deems he or she as non-infectious). Students may return to school once they have been treated with an approved pediculicide. Parents or guardians must present proof of the pediculicide used for treatment (empty bottle or dated receipt) to the school nurse. Students are to receive a second treatment in 7-10 days. The school nurse will do a follow up check in 7 – 10 days to ensure the at home treatments have been effective. If nits or lice are found then parent/guardian must provide proof of pediculicide used for second treatment. (Empty box or receipt.)
Individuals become infested with lice by coming into close contact with an infested person, by wearing infested garments, by using infected combs and brushes, or by lying on infested carpets, beds, or upholstered furniture that have recently been used by an infested person. We strongly urge all parents to read about head lice and inspect the hair and scalp of their children regularly. Please contact the school if you discover that your child has lice. The Boyertown Area School District trust that with the school and home working cooperatively, head lice can be kept under control with minimal inconvenience to our students and their families.
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 Parent Lice Checklist tab for a copy of the checklist to help you manage lice at home