Head Lice!


Ugh. We have had issues with head lice since school began! The problem is more with the children I DON'T know about. I can't check all 604 students in the school, I'd go blind.

I send home an extensive packet of info for parents when I find lice/nits. Our school also has a no lice/nits policy.

What are your best tips on managing lice in school?

fetch, BSN, RN

1 Article; 481 Posts

This year a lot of parents are pulling their own students out for lice the parents found - when they tell the school, I check the classroom (and almost never find anything). If a teacher requests, I will check the classroom (and usually will only find one chronic kid). Whenever I check a classroom I send home a one-page letter basically saying "your student's class was checked for lice, your student is fine, keep monitoring at home."

Officially our policy is no nits - so when kids come back, I check and make sure they don't have nits. When I do a classroom check, nits will get kids sent home. But with all the evidence stating that kids with lice don't need to be excluded - I'm not going out of my way to check all the classrooms. I've quietly adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy - I don't go searching for trouble.


506 Posts

Has 21 years experience.

" I've quietly adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy - I don't go searching for trouble."

Love love love this!! I don't go lice hunting either.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

There are many threads here about lice - I don't know if we ever made that issue a "sticky". It is hard to repeat the same info as we get this question often.

I don't go looking for lice. We have a live lice - go home policy. If the child gets treated, we don't worry about nits.

The biggest issue is education for the parents and actually staff too - they think lice can jump!

I'll go look for some links (or maybe we did do a sticky) and come back to link them.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Wow, that's huge!

Here's some stuff I found from prior threads:



"Children found with live head lice should remain in class, but be discouraged from close direct head contact with others. The school nurse should contact the parents to discuss treating the child at the conclusion of the school day (Frankowski & Bocchini, 2010). Students with nits only should not be excluded from school (American School Health Association, 2005, Frankowski & Bocchini, 2010, Pollack, Kiszewski & Spielman, 2000), although further monitoring for signs of re-infestation is appropriate. It may be appropriate to screen other children who have had close head-to-head contact with a student with an active infestation, such as household family members, but classroom-wide or school-wide screening is not merited (Andresen & McCarthy, 2009). In cases that involve head lice, as in all school health issues, it is vital that the school nurse prevent stigmatizing and maintain the student’s privacy as well as the family’s right to confidentiality (Gordon, 2007). ...."


12,646 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

Just went through this at HS level. I did NOT do a class head check. I would have been a grade head check as they go from class to class. I educated the parent/child only. She caught it from her younger sister.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Most likely the kids do not get it from school.

I sent out a newsletter from the nurse (me) to all parents last month covering many subjects but one was "Lice Facts". I got an example from a nurse here in our forum and I appreciated it. I tweaked it for our school.

This is one of the issues that comes up at NASN conferences - the vast array of different policies makes it hard for school nurses to maintain factual information. You can look up info about lice on their website too. Your own local state has its' own state chapter of NASN as well.


Specializes in School nursing.
Wow, that's huge!

I know - I tried to reduce it a bit, but it attached so large! I had it printed to hang in my office for reference - mainly for staff :).

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Jen-Elizabeth - can you link the website where you got that myth-buster poster?


allnurses Guide


1 Article; 4,787 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

Fortunately, Texas took head lice OFF the list of things for which a child should be excluded from school. My only role in head lice now is to provide education about treatment, prevention, etc. Head lice isn't any more prevalent now than it was when we did regular classroom head checks.