Head Lice Information

Below is some important information on head lice, our current Middletown Public School protocol and links to some of the national organizations that prompted the policy changes over the past few years:

What are head lice?

The most common symptom of head lice is a very itch scalp. Lice look like tiny whitish-grey flecks that move along the hair shaft. Nits (or eggs), are also whitish in color. They are slightly smaller than hatched lice, and they are attached to the hair shaft, more commonly, close to the scalp. Lice are a nuisance, but are not considered a public health threat.  

Head Lice Questions, Facts and Myths

Here are some links from the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses and the Centers for Disease Control:

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/aap-updates-treatments-for-head-lice.aspx

https://www.nasn.org/ToolsResources/HeadLicePediculosisCapitis/LiceLessons

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html


What happens in our Middletown schools if a child has head lice?

If a child has newly discovered or reported to have active lice or nits, the school nurse will contact that child’s parents to determine if they are aware of the lice and to determine if treatment has been initiated.

Treatment information will be provided to the family.

Middletown School Health Services do not require exclusion from school for children with head lice as long as parents or guardians can show proof of treatment for lice with an FDA-registered product. Proof of treatment includes: a box top or lice treatment kit component (empty bottle), or a note from the child’s health care provider.  


If my child does not have head lice, will I receive a letter notifying me of head lice in the class?

Under the current MPS protocols, letters to an entire class or school about a documented case of head lice are not sent out.   Our school nurse will send home a parent notification letter only to the parents of any child that she identifies as having head lice.  

How do I get rid of lice?

Ongoing follow-up measures at home are necessary in order to eliminate lice and prevent a re-infestation. Some basic preventive measures include:

  • Limit head-to-head contact by teaching your child(ren) not to share combs, hats, or scarves.

  • Change and wash pillow cases, bedding, pajamas, and towels that were in direct contact with the infested person within 24 hours of the identification.

  • If live (crawling) lice persist, a second application may be needed about 10 days after the first treatment (see manufacturer’s instructions).

  • Consult pediatrician or healthcare provider if the lice infestation persists.


School Attendance:

Middletown School Health Services do not require exclusion from school for children with head lice as long as parents or guardians can show proof of treatment for lice with an FDA-registered product. Proof of treatment includes: a box top or lice treatment kit component (empty bottle), or a note from the child’s health care provider.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Middletown School Health Supervisor, Mary Emerling, RN, MPA at 860-638-1436, Spencer School Nurse, Lisa DiPiro or me at 860-344-0711.