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Administrative Procedure 318: Head Lice Identification and Screening

The division recognizes the importance of communication and cooperation among home, school and health agencies to ensure students have a healthy learning environment, particularly with respect to managing head lice outbreaks in school settings.

  1. When a school becomes aware a student has head lice, the principal shall ensure that the parents/guardians are immediately telephoned to inform them of that fact.
  2. A protocol for treatment (Appendix 318A – Head Lice Counselling Guidelines) shall be provided to the parents/guardians. Additional copies could be given to the parents/guardians for circulation to the child’s immediate contacts, i.e., neighbours, relatives and friends.
  3. Screening of classmates and staff in contact with the identified student is a task that may be carried out by trained volunteers. School public health nurses from the health region are available to provide training to volunteers (staff and parents/guardians) on head lice, screening and treatment.
  4. Screening should be conducted in a manner and at a location that respects the student’s right to privacy.
  5. All volunteers trained as “head checkers” must complete and sign the Declaration of Confidentiality form located in the Student Services Handbook.
  6. Parents/guardians of all students in the classroom shall be notified that there is an outbreak of head lice in the classroom and that they should inspect all family members for any appearance of head lice. Such notification should be accompanied by a copy of Appendix 318A – Head Lice Counselling Guidelines.
  7. Whenever possible, if a child has been identified with head lice, the parents/guardians shall be notified and the child treated immediately. It is not necessary to remove a student from regular classes immediately after detection of head lice, but activities where head-to-head contact is possible should be minimized. Parents/guardians may wish to keep their infected child home until treatment is completed, but medical evidence does not require excluding the student from school.
  8. For students repeatedly identified with head lice, a volunteer may recheck weekly until the head is clear. Parents/guardians will be informed of the need for rechecking.
  9. In the case of recurring problems, schools should contact the local public health office of the Chinook Health Region or Headwaters Health Region for assistance.

School Ac, tSection 45, 60