It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses that the management of pediculosis (infestation by head lice) should not disrupt the educational process. No disease is associated with head lice, and in-school transmission is considered to be rare. When transmission occurs, it is generally found among younger-age children with increased head-to-head contact (Frankowski & Bocchini, 2010).

                Head lice screening programs have not had a significant effect on the incidence of head lice in the school setting over time and have not proven to be cost effective (Frankowski & Bocchini, 2010). Research data does not support immediate exclusion upon the identification of the presence of live lice or nits as an effective means of controlling pediculosis transmission. By the time a child with an active head lice infestation has been identified, he or she may have had the infestation for one month or more and, therefore, poses little additional risk of transmission to others (Frankowski & Bocchini, 2010). The school nurse is in a position to take the lead in eliminating school exclusion policies and, instead, incorporate evidence-based practices that reduce the stigma associated with head lice, and work to increase classroom time with an emphasis on keeping students in school (Gordon, 2007).


    Whenever head lice are detected, the following procedures shall be followed:

    1.     Child’s parent/guardian will be notified.

    2.     Instructions for treatment for live lice and viable nits will be provided to the parent/guardian.

    3.     Following proper treatment, the child will be brought to school by the parent prior to the start of the school day for reexamination.

    4.     The student will be rechecked by the school nurse at her discretion.

    5.     If active cases continue in the classroom or school, more extensive measures may occur.

    6.     Further information on head lice may be found on the district health website and the school nurses webpage.