Nursing Office: Head Lice
Anyone can get head lice regardless of age, sex, race or ethnic background. They do not discriminate!
Head lice are tiny insects found only on human hair. Adult head lice are about the size of a sesame seed and blend in well with the color of hair. Lice hatch from small eggs called nits. Nits are attached to individual hairs with a glue-like substance that has been compared to cement. One the eggs hatch, the empty eggshell remains attached to the hair. New nits are dark in color; older and/or empty nits are whitish and are about the size of a grain of sand.
Head lice are transmitted in many different ways. Close head-to-head contact is the primary way head lice spread from one child to the next. Head lice do not jump. They are also spread by sharing a hoodie, a hat, ponytail holders, combs or brushes with a person who already has head lice.
The most common symptom of head lice is itching, especially behind the ears or at the nape of the neck. Nits and/or live bugs may be observed in the hair. When in doubt, send the student to the Nurse for evaluation! If a student complains of an itchy scalp (or is constantly itching their head), has visible bugs crawling in his/her hair, has visible nits in the hair or report having head lice, please send the student to the Nurse for assessment.
The Nurse will do the following:
- Examine the scalp and hair for nits and lice (common areas “preferred” by lice are the nape of the neck, around the ears, and on the forehead)
- If lice and/or nits are found, the parent/guardian will be contacted and the student will be sent home. Parents will be fully instructed in head lice removal and extermination.
- The entire classroom of students will be checked for head lice.
- Siblings of the affected student will also be checked for head lice (including siblings at other JPS campuses, who will be checked by their respective School Nurses)
- The student and parent/guardian will be instructed that the student may NOT return to class until they have been assessed and cleared for return by the Nurse. The Nurse will provide a student that has been approved for return to class with a yellow release form for the teacher.