• Management of Head Lice


    Head Lice (All Grade Levels)

    Head lice, although not an illness or a disease, is very common among children and is spread very easily through head-to-head contact during play, sports, or nap time and when children share things like brushes, combs, hats, and headphones.  If careful observation indicates that a student has head lice, the school nurse will contact the student’s parent to determine whether the child will need to be picked up from school and to discuss a plan for treatment with an FDA-approved medicated shampoo or cream rinse that may be purchased from any drug or grocery store.  After the student has undergone one treatment, the parent should check in with the school nurse to discuss the treatment used.  The nurse can also offer additional recommendations, including subsequent treatments and how best to get rid of lice and prevent their return.

    Notice will also be provided to parents of elementary school students in the affected classrooms.


    Parent/Guardian Notification:

    • A parent or guardian of a student with lice shall be notified and the student will be sent home for a treatment.
    • Active head lice are indicated by the presence of live lice anywhere on the head.  Students with nits (egg sacks) down the hair shaft, as determined by the campus nurse; will not be excluded from school.  These egg sacks are empty and are of no risk to the student or others. 
    • The student will wait in a designated area until the parent arrives. 


    Exclusion Protocol:

    • Joshua ISD exclusion protocol is designed to protect the integrity of the school day, and to minimize embarrassment and unnecessary isolation of students with head lice.  Students who have evidence of head lice will be sent home from school so that treatment may begin as quickly as possible.  The nurse shall provide the student’s parent/guardian information regarding appropriate treatment and prevention of head lice transmission.


    Readmission Criteria:

    Students who have been excluded from school for lice shall be readmitted to school upon:

    • Receipt of a statement signed by parent or guardian certifying that the student has been treated for head lice.  The document should include the date of treatment, and name of treatment applied. 
    • Examination by the school nurse prior to readmission to the classroom.  Parents need to accompany their child to the clinic prior to readmission and be present during that examination.  The nurse will assess for efficacy of treatment and will readmit the student to the classroom when no signs of live lice are present.


    Excessive Absences:

    • Although time-intensive, the recommended treatments for head lice are relatively easy to perform and the initial treatment can usually be performed within a day.  Excessive absences due to head lice will be subject to the Texas Compulsory Attendance laws.  Each initial exclusion from school will be excused however, any absences due to lice thereafter will be considered unexcused.  


    For example:  Day one is excused.  Any consecutive days after that are unexcused. 


    More information on head lice can be obtained from the TDSHS website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/lice.shtm.