Head Lice Informational Post

Dear Parents, Years ago I called my mother from a small village in remote Alaska with a dilemma. I was a kindergarten teacher and my hair had become infested with head lice. I lived hundreds of miles from the nearest road and a plane ride seemed excessive for head lice, so I figured a call to my Mom, might help me figure out how to treat it. There was no special shampoo to be had in the village, so a friend sat with me and my classroom assistant and nit-picked. We shampooed with what we had, blew the hair dry and removed the eggs strand by strand. Lice do not care who they crawl on, they just typically like longer hair and warm places (behind your ears and nape of neck). They are tough little buggers and will do what they need to survive. I ironed my couch, my mattress, hooked up with all the ladies at the laundromat and washed and dried pillows, sheets, towels, blankets, coats and anything I could think of that my head may have touched. The women at the laundry mat were amazed at all I was doing to rid myself and my house of the bugs. There truly isn't much we can do about it at school ... nits happen! It is estimated that between 6 and 11 million young pre-school and school aged children get head lice every year. The following news letter was written to provide you with pertinent information regarding how to keep your child lice-free.

Click on the link above for information on removing head lice.

How to manage that unruly head of hair and lice!

Pendleton School District Board Policy Regarding Head Lice (Pediculosis) Communicable Diseases

In accordance with state law, rule and health authority communicable disease guidelines, procedures, as established below, will be followed:

School Restrictable/School Reportable Diseases

1. Restrictable diseases are communicable diseases which occur in a setting where predictable and/or serious consequences may occur to the public. School restrictable diseases are defined as a disease which can be readily transmitted in a school setting and to which students and/or employees in a school may be particularly susceptible;

2. A district employee who is diagnosed to have a school restrictable disease shall not engage in any occupation which involves contact with students as long as the disease is in a communicable stage;

3. A student who is diagnosed to have a school restrictable disease shall not attend school as long as the disease is in a communicable stage. These restrictions are removed by the written statement of the local health officer or designee or a licensed physician (with the concurrence of the local health officer) that the disease is no longer communicable to others in the school setting. For those diseases indicated by an asterisk (*) the restriction may be removed by a school nurse. For pediculosis, or head lice (indicated by a double asterisk) (**), the restriction may be removed after the parent provides a signed statement that a recognized treatment has been initiated. School restrictable diseases include, but are not limited to:

a. Chicken pox*; b. Cholera; c. Diphtheria; d. Measles; e. Meningococcal disease; f. Mumps*; g. Pediculosis** (head lice); h. Pertussis (whooping cough); I. Plague; j. Rubella (German measles); k. Scabies*; l. Staphylococcal skin infections*; m. Streptococcal infections*; n. Tuberculosis o. Pandemic flu or other catastrophe.

The school administrator may, when he/she has reasonable cause to believe the student has a school restrictable disease, exclude that student from attendance until a physician, public health nurse or school nurse certifies that the student is not infectious to others;

Click on the link below for more information from the School Nurses Association.

At Sherwood Heights Elementary School, we encourage parents to contact us should they feel their child may be exposed to head lice or anything thing else that may be of concern to the general well-being of our students. We do our best to identify students who may have an active case (teacher notices itching or a child comes to the office and simply asks Mrs. Fleming or I to check for "bugs"). Any child with live lice are sent home as soon as parents can be reached and are able to come and get the child. We do not want any child to have head lice any longer than they have to, this follows our School Board policy and goes above the recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (click on link below). However, students who have received treatment and are returned to school with a note stating they have completed the treatment are allowed back to school. At this time, although posts to FB would have you believe otherwise, we do not have an outbreak of any large proportion. Typically, there are more cases in the fall and in January/February, since we are past those months we expect cases to drop at the school. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mrs. Owens.

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