Lice Policies

  1. Today one of my classes is having their fourth case of lice this year. Per school policy I check the whole class whenever we have a confirmed case. This is my first year at the school, and the former nurse left me her parent illness notes which state that parents must provide an "all clear" note from a lice treatment center or pediatrician. I checked our handbook and it only says proof of treatment and children can return to school when no live lice are present, so I changed our parent illness note. I also told admin that the CDC says to not send kids home for lice and their reaction was a shoulder shrug and "ok sounds good." What are your lice policies?
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   BeckyESRN
    We do not exclude for lice. Our policy states that we must call the parent by the end of the day(we also send home a letter) and the child must bring in proof of treatment and be rechecked by the nurse the next morning. If live lice are found we "may" exclude then. We recheck at 10-14 days. No classroom checks. I usually do a sibling check before I speak to the parent. Some parents want to pick up right away and that's fine too. We send out 2 lice letter a year to remind parents to check their kids, but no one reads them...
  4. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    No classroom checks. I'll send home with live lice when I spot it only if parent wants to pick up, otherwise, student stays put. I will do a head check of any siblings at my school as courtesy for parent as treatment of siblings is usually recommended.

    We don't require pediatrician's letter. Nor a re-check. Lice do not carry disease. I showed a previous boss the data from NASN and they supported it. We used to do classroom checks and send a letter home. I hated it as it was not necessary.

    Lice happens. And I tell every parent that when they typically report it to me - most are horrified it was their child, but relax so much when I say, nope we don't send a letter home. My school is small, word gets around and privacy doesn't happen once the letter goes home. Luckily I don't see lice as much with the older students.
  5. by   peacockblue
    Strict no nit policy along with classroom checks. I am weary fighting this battle. Admin and school board won't budge no matter how much evidence you present them with. In fact, the last printed info I gave was thrown in the trash on front of me.
  6. by   OldDude
    Quote from peacockblue
    Strict no nit policy along with classroom checks. I am weary fighting this battle. Admin and school board won't budge no matter how much evidence you present them with. In fact, the last printed info I gave was thrown in the trash on front of me.
    How hypocritical for them to claim to be "educators" but refuse to accept legitimate facts themselves.
  7. by   moreoreo
    We do not exclude for nits but we do for live lice. Classroom check and letter only if two or more confirmed cases in the same classroom in 2 weeks or less. We do recheck the day after exclusion to confirm live lice are no longer present.

    I have read a lot of articles about this and while I agree that lice is not the evil that teachers think, exclusion is helpful at my school for the fact that parents would likely not treat as promptly if there was no chance of exclusion. Same as for immunizations and physical exams. For some parents, only the threat of (or actual) exclusion helps accomplish compliance.
  8. by   Cattz
    Quote from peacockblue
    Strict no nit policy along with classroom checks. I am weary fighting this battle. Admin and school board won't budge no matter how much evidence you present them with. In fact, the last printed info I gave was thrown in the trash on front of me.
    Wow. I am so sorry about this. There are so many more important issues that need your (our) attention.
  9. by   Cattz
    Every time I deal with lice in this crazy school business it pushes me one step closer to "don't ask, don't tell".
  10. by   denstar
    When I first started, our school policy was to check the entire grade if even just 1 case of lice was reported (so that meant checking 80-100 kids!!). Absolutely ridiculous! I've gotten our admin down to checking just the class, and then if multiple cases are found in different classes, then I check the whole grade. We also used to send kids home immediately if any nits/lice were found (seriously, it was treated like an emergency and I was called to classrooms STAT!). I've never understood this, it's not like anyone expects nurses to go into classes looking at throats and checking temps if someone has reported having strep-an actual health condition!

    I've also gotten it changed so that we do not immediately exclude for nits only and whether a child with live lice needs to go home immediately is at my discretion. Most parents end up picking up early to get treatment started anyway.

    I would love to get our policy changed so that we do not do class checks at all (and possibly not even send letters home about it), but alas, I think our parents would push back waaaay to much, so I'll just be happy I'm not regularly checking entire grades of students.
  11. by   SaltineQueen
    We had a no nit policy until about a year ago. Now it states students must be sent home for live lice. Parents are to bring to school (not ride the bus) after treatment and they must be checked by the school nurse the next day in order to be allowed to stay. We do not do whole class or school checks.

    Recently, we had someone question whether sending kids home for lice is a denial of their right to education. We have a student who seems to constantly have lice and was being sent home repeatedly. We *really* want to move to a "lice is no big whoop" type policy. Hopefully soon.
  12. by   BeckyESRN
    Quote from denstar
    (seriously, it was treated like an emergency and I was called to classrooms STAT!). I've never understood this, it's not like anyone expects nurses to go into classes looking at throats and checking temps if someone has reported having strep-an actual health condition!
    Right?! If people cared half as much about actual illness as they do about head lice, these kids wouldn't pass around so much funk!

    ETA: If there were a lice vaccine, I bet I wouldn't see as many Facebook anti-vaxxers...
    Last edit by BeckyESRN on Dec 12, '17 : Reason: ETA snarky comment :)
  13. by   Amethya
    Ugh... I can go on a tangent with this. Sorry but rant time.

    So in our school, a Public Charter School, when I first came here, the protocol was just check the classroom the child came from.

    I'm not sure how it went from this to... "You have to check EVERY CHILD in our school for lice, to be proactive."

    I WAS suppose to start this next semester, but lo and behold. I leave one day, JUST ONE DAY to go to a doctor's appointment, and I come back being told that we have a lice infestation, thanks to my lovely sub, who does not check well enough apparently (Just the neck). So I come back, and now I have to check ALL THE SCHOOL because of one kid. Which in the end, DID NOT HAVE LICE.

    I asked my School Health Coordinator and she states "If your admin team want you to do this, you have to do it."

    So basically we have no established protocol.

    The sub wasn't helpful at all, because all she checked was the neck and missed like 2 kids in my school.

    end rant/

    I'm going to do it, anyways. I have to do it, and I'll actually do a good job on it.

    I actually found one case, that actually does have lice. So eh, this has some benefits.
  14. by   AdobeRN
    Quote from Cattz
    Every time I deal with lice in this crazy school business it pushes me one step closer to "don't ask, don't tell".
    I have felt this way for quite some time. I really hate dealing with lice.

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