Head Lice (also known as Pediculosis Capitis): School boards across the country, on the advice of the Canadian Paediatric Society, are revoking the rule that children with head lice must stay home from school. A few creepy crawlies – which cause only mild itching and don’t spread disease – are no reason to interrupt kids’ education, the Society says. Head lice don’t spread disease (just embarrassment and anxiety) and many kids who are found to have nits don’t actually have lice, leading to a lot of unnecessary absences. (source: Halifax Metro).
Based on recommendations from health professionals the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) recently revised its Head Lice policy and procedures. HRSB advises parents to:
• Check their children for nits and head lice on a regular basis;
• Notify the school if their child has head lice;
• Check other family members or others spending time in the house of children identified as having head lice;
• Provide recommended head lice treatment to a child identified as having head lice as outlined by Public Health in the pamphlet How to Prevent, Find and Treat Head Lice (available at http://www.novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Public-Health-Education/07135_HeadLicePamphlet_En.pdf);
• Complete a first treatment prior to their children returning to school;
• Call 8-1-1 at any time to speak with a Registered Nurse for more information and guidance if head lice are still present after the second treatment.
The school will notify parent(s)/guardian(s) of the suspicion that their child has head lice;
• Children suspected of having nits (small silver-grey egg casings) may remain at school;
• Children suspected of having live lice (insects) will be sent home for treatment.
• Children with head lice maybe return to school after the first treatment.
At all times school staff will maintain student confidentiality. Letters will no longer be sent home to parents indicating a case of head lice exists in their child’s class.