Head Lice (Pediculosis)

Head Lice (Pediculosis) are parasitic insects that typically live near the scalp or on hairs on the back of the neck and behind ears. They feed on blood from the human host and are not known to transmit disease. Head lice infestation is one of the biggest nuisances of school aged children causing interruptions in the learning process. In addition, much embarrassment and many unnecessary absences result from suspected head lice infestations.

Head lice are not a sign of unclean people, homes or schools. They are considered by pediatricians to be a social nuisance and are not a cause for medical concerns.

In accordance with Wayne County Board of Education Policy 4271: Head Lice Policy, Wayne County Public Schools is committed to not letting head lice infestations interfere with a student’s opportunity to learn and achieve in the classroom while following best public health practice in the management of head lice infestations. The policy, which was developed by the state-mandated local School Health Advisory Council comprised of community health professionals, is intended to give parents and schools a clear direction for how to address this social nuisance.

Wayne County Board of Education Policy 4271: Head Lice Policy is aligned with both the National Association of School Nurses and the American Academy of Pediatrics in that students will be allowed to remain in school if they are found to have the presence of nits. However, this policy maintains a local position to send students home from school who are infested with live lice in order to receive appropriate treatment and prevent further threats of spread to other students. Students will be allowed to immediately return once live lice are no longer present.

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