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What is head lice?

Lice are wingless parasitic insects that live among human hairs.  They are a common problem, especially for kids.  They are contagious, annoying, and sometimes tough to get rid of.  They are not dangerous and do not spread disease.  They can make a child's scalp itchy and irritated from scratching.  They are very small and difficult to see with the naked eye.

Nits - are lice eggs and can be tiny yellow, tan, or brown dots on hair shafts.  They look like dandruff, only they cannot be removed by shaking them off.  Unless the infestation is heavy, it is more common to see nits than a live louse.  Nits hatch within 1-2 weeks after they are laid.  After hatching, the remaining shell looks white or clear and stays firmly attached to the hair shaft.  As the hair is growing longer, the egg moves away from the scalp. 

Adult lice an nymphs(baby lice) -  The adult louse is no bigger than a sesame seed and is grayish-white or tan.  Nymphs are smaller and become adult lice about 1-2 weeks after they hatch.  They do not fly or jump.  If head lice is not treated, this process repeats itself every 3 weeks.  Most lice feed on blood of the scalp several times a day, and they can survive up to 2 days off the scalp. 

How did my child get head lice?

     By contact with an already infested person.  Contact is common during play at school and at home (slumber parties, sports activities, and at camp)

     By wearing infested clothing, such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons

     By using infested combs, brushes, or towels

     By lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person


At any time during the school year, the school nurse may check any student's head for lice.

If nits or lice are present, the following procedures will be implemented:

     1.  The student will be excluded from school.

     2.  The parent/guardian will be contacted and it will be their responsibility to come for the student and provide treatment.  The student will not be permitted to ride the bus home following the exclusion or to school when returning the first morning after treatment. 

     3.  There is not a specified time allotment for the completion of treatment, however, Trinity Area School District will not grant more than 3 consecutive days of excused absence per treatment cycle.

     4.  After treatment has been completed, the parent/guardian must accompany the student to school to have his/her head checked by the nurse for readmittance.  The parent must call the school in advance to confirm that the nurse can be there at that time.  

     If upon inspection, the student is found to have nits, he/she will not be readmitted until all nits have been removed.  The parent and student must begin treatment again, submitting to a school nurse check no more than another 3 day period. 

     5.  At any time a student is found with or reported to have Pediculosis (lice), the student's homeroom will receive a screening.  If the carrier student has school-age siblings, they will also be screened.  

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