The school nurse and District 47's health services department work closely with families to provide guidance on the treatment and prevention of lice. Recently, District 47 changed its procedure regarding head lice to align with recommendations by the local health department, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Below are the primary matters for consideration in the care of students with regard to head lice and nits:
- Students who have live lice will be sent home and are required to complete treatment before being allowed to return to school. Click here for information about recommended treatment. A communication to parents will also be sent home with students who are in a classroom where there has been a confirmed case of lice or nits.
- Based on the recommendations of the medical/professional organizations named above, students are not to be excluded from school based on the presence of nits. Nits are the eggs of the louse bug; they are tiny, grayish white, tan or brown ovals that attach very tightly to strands of hair. The nits are not contagious; it is the lice bug that is contagious because it travels. With this in mind, it is imperative that, upon notification or discovery of nits, parents remove them from the hair, as there is a 7-10 day window before the nits hatch.
- Our students’ wellness is a priority and it is important to know that upon discovery or notification of lice or nits, the health services staff at your child’s school will monitor the matter closely and serve as a support to families.
- The school district conducts head lice screenings as needed when cases are suspected, immediately following treatment, intermittently after treatment to ensure that a reinfestation has not occurred, and at a parent’s request. For additional information, please refer to the links below:
For additional information about lice, please refer to the links below:
- McHenry County Department of Health: https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/home/showdocument?id=939
- National Association of School Nurses (NASN): http://www.nasn.org/PolicyAdvocacy/PositionPapersandReports/NASNPositionStatementsFullView/tabid/462/ArticleId/934/Head-Lice-Management-in-the-School-Setting-Revised-2016
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html