Spring Lake Park Schools has lice procedures in place based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
Head Lice Procedures
- If a student is found to have live lice or first-time nits by any staff member, the student will be examined by the building health care specialist, and parents/guardians will be contacted. The student will be allowed to stay in school for the remainder of the school day.
- In order for the student to return to school the following day, treatment must be verified by the building health care specialist to ensure no live lice remain in the student’s hair. If live lice are found, students will be excluded from school until retreated and examined by the building health care specialist. (Treatment is only verified if no live lice are found.)
The AAP and NASN do not support "no-nit" policies or exclusion from school for lice due to the following reasons:
- Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp and are usually not viable. These nits are unlikely to hatch or may be empty shells.
- Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are difficult to transfer to other students.
- Excessive absences are not necessary to help prevent the spread of lice.
Key Facts about Head Lice
- Head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his/her environment.
- Head lice are very small brownish-colored insects, which live on the head. Lice are less than 1/8 inch long and lay eggs (nits) close to the scalp.
- Head lice cannot jump or fly.
- Typically, lice is spread by direct head-to-head contact with an infested person (such as: taking selfies, sleepovers, etc.).
Treatment for Head Lice
- Per MDH, recommended treatment includes using either an over-the-counter or prescription medication product.
- A second treatment is often necessary 7-10 days later to ensure treatment.
- Nits may be removed by using a "nit comb", as the medication does not necessarily prevent nits from hatching.