Head Lice

  •  

    • Texas Laws and Rules
      • There is no statute in Texas that addresses excluding children with head lice from school . Lice are not a public health threat, they do not carry disease.  Therefore, the Department of State Health Services does not monitor or track cases of head lice.
    • PSID policy
      • PISD does not have a “no nits” policy.
      • If active head lice/nits are found parents will be notified and recommend for the student to be picked up (cannot be made to pick up). If I am unable to contact the parents, the student will be returned to the classroom (the student will not remain in the nurse’s office and miss academic instruction). 
      • Head lice infestation is a social issue not a health threat. “No nit” policies place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on head lice management than on real health concerns which should be a higher priority. This over-emphasis can lead to unproductive use of time by school staff and parents, missed classes, unnecessary absences, and parents missing work.
      • Per Changes in the Texas Administrative Code effective 12/20/2012 school exclusion requirements have been removed.  
      • Massive head sweeps will not be conducted.
      • If you notice active itching please send them to me to complete individual hair checks.
      • The signs and symptoms of head lice are:

    ·       Itching and scratching of the scalp

    ·       Live lice that are 1/16 to 1/8 inch long

    ·       Nits (lice eggs) on the hair shaft about ¼ inch from the scalp. Nits are shiny, grayish on color and look like

    ·       dandruff but won’t shake off.

    ·       Head lice do not hop, jump, or fly. They crawl from one person to another by direct contact and by use of infested articles

     

    Classroom management:

    • Teachers
      • Teachers are often first to identify a potential case of head lice in the classroom. It is imperative that the teachers have a good understanding of the transmission and treatment of head lice. It is extremely important to be sensitive to distraught parents and children. It is not necessary to completely isolate the child from the rest of the children. Lice cannot jump or fly, so solitary activities (i.e. coloring, writing, or reading at a desk) would not put the rest of the class at risk of acquiring head lice. Remember that all socioeconomic groups may be affected and infestation is not a sign of poor hygiene. Every effort should be made to prevent the child from suffering emotionally.

     

    Teachers can help prevent head lice transmission in their classrooms by taking the following steps.

    1.         Ensure that coats are hung separately and spaced so that they do not touch.

    2.         Make sure hats, mittens, scarves, etc., are tucked into coat sleeves.

    3.         Each child should have his or her own storage place for mats, towels or other items brought from home.

    4.         Carpeted floors should be vacuumed daily. Tile and linoleum floors should be swept daily.

    5.         Dress-up corners/reading corners” with shared pillows, smocks, hats, etc., can facilitate the spread of lice and should be limited, especially during periods when there are known cases of head lice infestation in the class.

    6.         Observe children carefully for symptoms of head lice infestation. Early detection of cases will limit spread.

    7.         As part of the health and hygiene curriculum, children should be taught basic information regarding head lice. The importance of each child using only his or her own hair care items and the importance of not sharing other children’s hats and scarves should be emphasized as methods to prevent transmission.

     

    Typically we see increases in cases of head lice during those periods following vacations; any time children begin to spend greater amounts of time indoors and in close proximity to one another or at sleepovers.

    Please click on the following link for information about head lice provided by the Texas Department of Health. Head Lice Information