Few conditions seem to cause as much concern and anxiety in schools and homes as an infestation of lice in the hair of children. All socioeconomic groups are affected. Indivduals become infected by coming into direct contact with an infected person (i.e., comb, hat). For survival, head lice require frequent meals of human blood and without such a meal, lice that have fallen off or been brushed off the host will die at room temperature in less than 48 hours. Thus, they can be transmitted by such objects as hair brushes, stuffed animals, caps, scarves, and coats for only a short period of time. Early treatment of infected individuals coupled with environmental precautions is the key to interrupting transmission. The infected individual should be treated and personal articles (i.e., car upholstery, caps, combs, brushes, towels, clothing, and bedding) should be disinfected by appropriate laundering, vacuuming or dry cleaning.
Exclusion and Re-Admission
Once head lice infection has been identified, the student should be isolated until appropriately treated. Communication with the parent should include an explanation of the problem, possible methods of treatment, and the importance of examining and treating other family members simultaneously if found to be infected.
The Fonda-Fultonvile Central School District endorses a nit-free or no-nit policy for re-admission to school. This policy has been instituted because no pediculicide guarantees 100% effectiveness. Also unless applied precisely according to directions, a pediculicide will not be effective. While a “no-nit” policy assures a treatment compliance and eliminates erroneous diagnosis based on the presence of nonviable nits, the judgment of the school nurse examining a child for re-admission will be respected when a decision for re-admission is reached.
Parents should understand that the child will be expected back in school after a full 24-hour period. Parents must accompany their child upon return to school, and present proof of treatment and provide the School District with a statement that proper treatment was followed. Your child will then be rechecked. If treatment was not satisfactory, the child will not be re-admitted to class without additional treatment. The District may elect to contact the Department of Social Services for assistance.
Retreatment of all initially infested persons in seven to ten days is recommended by the Montgomery County Health Department to ensure complete elimination of the infestation. Your child will be rechecked at that time.