• Head lice

    All principals and assistant principals  

    Head lice continue to be one of the most common conditions among school age children, and outbreaks are possible whenever and wherever children gather. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.”

    The Health Department has changed its head lice policy from “No Nit” to “No Live Lice”, based on recommendations from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses. As a result, if a child is found to have live lice, that child will be excluded at the end of the school day (or earlier if needed). A consideration for the child to be re-admitted will be made once treatment has started, and if there are no live lice found upon re-screening by a school health nurse or school health aide. Children should be taught to avoid activities that may spread head lice:

    • Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp)
    • Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes 
    • Do not share combs, brushes, or towels 
    • Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person 
    Families are encouraged to screen their school-aged children regularly (weekly if possible) and notify the school health staff immediately if head lice or their nits (eggs) are found. We welcome the opportunity to teach caretakers how to check a child’s head for lice. Please contact your school’s health suite staff if you have any questions regarding this policy.