What are Lice?
Per CDC, the head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. Head lice are not known to spread disease.
What are Nits?
Per CDC, nits are lice eggs laid by the adult female at the base of the hair shaft nearest the scalp. Nits are firmly attached to the hair shaft and are oval-shaped and very small. Nits often appear yellow or white. Nits are often confused with dandruff, scabs, or hair spray droplets. Head lice nits usually take about 8–9 days to hatch. Eggs that are likely to hatch are usually located no more than ¼ inch from the base of the hair shaft. Nits located further than ¼ inch from the base of the hair shaft may very well be already hatched, non-viable nits, or empty nits or casings.
Where Do I Look?
Per CDC, head lice and head lice nits are found almost exclusively on the scalp, particularly around and behind the ears and near the neckline at the back of the head. Head lice nits are cemented firmly to the hair shaft and can be difficult to remove.
Are Students Excluded From School for Lice?
Per policy, students with active lice bugs are to be excluded from school until treated with a pediculicide. Before treating young children, please consult the child’s doctor or the health department for the recommended treatment based on the child’s age and weight. The school nurse may check your child’s head upon returning to make sure there are no lice present. If still present, your child will have to return home for further treatment.
Are Students Excluded from School for Nits?
Students are allowed on campus with nits. However, the nurse might ask for them to be sent home if the child is experiencing discomfort and unable to concentrate in class. If your child has nits, please examine your child’s head prior to sending to school and look for active lice. If active lice are present, please keep the child home for treatment and notify the nurse. For a child with nits, the school nurse may spot check the child to see if lice are present and until no nits are present.
How Do I Clean My House?
Parents/guardians are also expected to treat the home and car for lice, if indicated. Reoccurrence is likely if not treated. Per CDC, routine house cleaning, including vacuuming of carpeting, rugs, furniture, car seats, and other fabric covered items, as well as laundering of linens and clothing worn or used by the infested person is sufficient. Only items that have been in contact with the head of the infested person in the 48 hours before treatment need to be considered for cleaning.