Lice (Pediculosis humanus capitis, a louse)

Symptoms

Infestation of the head hair or other parts of the body with lice and/or nits.  Lice are 1/8 inch long wingless, tan or reddish brawn parasites.  Nits are sacs of eggs and are small, plump, and cream-colored when alive and flat and white when dead or empty.  nits are attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp, usually at the neckline and/or behind the ears, but can be anywhere.  Scratching causes reddened rash-like areas.

Incubation Period

Variable, the eggs hatch 7-10 days after they are laid

Mode of Transmission & Communicability

Lice are spread by direct contact with an infected person's head/hair or with objects that have come in contact with an infected person's head/hair within the past 7-10 days (such as combs, brushes, hair accessories, hats, clothing, bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, etc.)  Live/crawling lice are communicable.  Lice that hatch from live nits (7-10  days after they are laid) are communicable.  Dead lice and dead nits are not communicable.

School Action

1. If live lice are found, exclude from school until all lice are dead.  Parents to institute treatment and remove all lice and nits from the child's head and objects the child has been in contact with. The school will check the child's hair on readmittance, in one week and again in 2 weeks.

2. If nits, but no lice; no restriction.  Parents to remove all nits.  The school will check the child's hair on readmittance, in one week and again in two weeks.

Additional Information