Policies regarding head lice
- 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.
- Per Changes in the Texas Administrative Code effective 12/20/2012, school exclusion requirements have been removed.
- PfISD does not have a “no nits” policy.
Signs and symptoms of head lice
· 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.
Prevention at school
Please help teachers reduce the risk of lice by reviewing these steps with your child:
- Make sure your hats, coats, scarves, and gloves don't touch other students' items.
- Keep your things in your own cubby.
- Don't share combs or brushers, hair accessories, hats, pillows, or clothing.
Symptoms at school
Teachers are often first to identify a potential case of head lice in the classroom. If teachers notice active itching, they will send the student to the nurse for an individual hair check. If active head lice/nits are found, the nurse will contact parents and recommend for the student to be picked up. If parents cannot be contacted, the student will return to the classroom to avoid missing academic instruction. 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.
- Any child can get lice.
- Head lice do not hop, jump, or fly. They crawl from one person to another by direct contact and by use of infested articles.
- Typically we see increases in cases of head lice during those periods following vacations, any time children spend greater amounts of time indoors and in close proximity to one another, or at sleepovers.
- It is extremely important to be sensitive to children.
- Early treatment helps prevent the spread of lice to other children.
Everything You Need to Know About Head Lice from the Texas Department of State Health Services