Pediculosis (Head Lice) Screening Procedures

Kanawha County Schools Health Services, in cooperation with Kanawha Charleston Health Department, and in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses, has determined that "no-nit" policies are ineffective in controlling outbreaks of head lice. Therefore, students found to have nits, after being treated for head lice, will no longer be excluded from the classroom. Students with infestations of live lice will be sent home and must be treated before returning to the classroom.

School Responsibilities:

  • Keep coats and jackets separated
  • Sweep all carpeted areas daily
  • Prohibit dress up hats or wigs in the classroom
  • Personalize towels or mats that are used for naps and store them so they are not touching
  • Have two persons in the building trained by the school nurse to check for live lice infestation
  • Notify parents of head lice infestation. Provide parents with head lice treatment letter and head lice management information.
  • School Nurse Responsibilities:
  • Train designated persons to screen for head lice
  • See that schools have copies of the head lice treatment letters and head lice management information sheets.
  • Work with parents of students with chronic re-infestations to educate them regarding head lice management
  • Upon request, provide information for students and staff about head lice and head lice management.

Parent Responsibilities

  • Arrange, if possible, for an infested student to be transported home
  • Appropriately treat student with a pediculicide, remove nits, treat other infested family members and do all appropriate house cleaning to rid the house of possible head lice infestation.
  • Check all children periodically for signs of head lice. Notify school if you determine that your child has head lice.

If a student is identified as being infested, that student's siblings, locker partners and close playmates should be checked. Confidentiality of the infested students will be maintained at all times. After a child is sent home with a case of head lice, and the parent/guardian is informed of the treatment policy, a maximum of two excused absences will be allowed to complete the treatment process.

It is ineffective and inefficient to check an entire school population for head lice.