CONDUCTING A SCHOOL WIDE Head Lice Scr eening A Suggested One to two weeks prior to the scr eening date: Notify teachers that the screening is scheduled. (To avoid schedule conflicts, Procedural be sure to first check school site events and holiday calendars). Provide teachers with a brief work plan outline, which should include information on head lice infestations, re-infestations, rationale for school wide screenings, Work-Site Plan and screening date. By Kathryn Schwabl, MS, RN, PHN Send a parent notification letter signed by the school nurse and site administrator, if deemed appropriate. The notification letters may also include Kathryn Schwabl has worked in school suggestions that will help parents to assess their children and the surrounding nursing for over 25 years. She is currently household for signs and symptoms of lice and nits. the School Health Specialist for alternative education with the Orange County, CA The correspondence sent to parents may include the following information Department of Education. Prior to that she on assessing for head lice. was a school health consultant with the Los Angeles County office of Education. We hope that you enjoy this information. If you have any questions or comments that would help make this draft a more Equipment needed: informative piece, please email Kathryn Flashlight Schwabl email@example.com This draft has been printed as a public service Tongue blades or narr ow wooden sticks/picks by Quantum, Inc., makers of HairClean (which are disposable per child). 1-2-3 Lice Remover. 1-800-LICE-877. Magnifying glass. One of the biggest challenges faced by school nurses today is conducting school-wide head lice screenings. With head lice infestation on the rise and lowered staffing budgets, finding the time and staff to implement this task has Signs and become increasingly difficult to arrange Symptoms of successfully. If you have determined that a head lice: school-wide head lice screening is necessary, Persistent itching or scratching at the back of the head or here is a simple work plan that can maximize around the ears; also scratch marks that may look like a rash, the efficiency of the screening and provide indicate the early signs of head lice. A tickling feeling of something positive outcomes for the school community. moving in the hair and small sores on the scalp are usually caused by scratching at the invested area. Some children do not itch, but head Immediately after the need for school wide lice may still be present. screening is determined inform the school site administrator and obtain approval for conducting Pr ocedure: the school-wide screening. Also discuss the Check the hair shafts for head lice or their appropriateness of the site administrator co- nits. Lice are difficult to see. Nits stick tightly signing any related school wide announcements to hair shafts and are a pearly, iridescent color. to staff and parents The use of a bright light, tongue blade or other devise to separate hairs and a magnifying Arrange for one trained volunteer per every glass makes identifying lice easier. 200 students to assist with the screening. Volunteers should be trained, reminded of confidentiality issues, and their competency Continues on back.... approved by a credentialed school nurse. continued from front • Earphones used for personal A letter should also be sent to all Samples of audio/radio. parents, indicating that lice have class discussion • Sharing lockers or hanging been identified in the school and Once lice ar e detected: topics include: clothes together on coat hooks what to look for and do. It is extremely important to • School uniforms, costumes or check those persons known to What are head lice? gym clothing. Best practice includes personal have closely associated with the Head lice are tiny six legged, follow-up calls to parents by infested individuals; including wingless insects. They are a little Other avenues of spread include: school nurse or trained volun- family, friends and schoolmates. bigger than the period at the end car and theatre seats, which are teers. This helps ensure follow- It is recommended that those of a sentence. They may change soft and warm; batting helmets, through for proper treatment, outside the immediate circle of their color to match the hair color which are dark and warm and information, and resource friends such as relatives, on a person’s head. They like to switched quickly. assistance for families in need. babysitters, sports groups, etc., live close by their food source: be informed of the infestation, blood that is from a person's scalp How do we find head lice? Follow-up to so that they also may be area. Lice do not pose any health Head lice like to hide in our hair Screening Day assessed for lice infestation. risk, but they can make a person’s and on our scalps. The school Each teacher and parent should head itch a lot, which makes the nurse will need to carefully search clearly understand that identi- Notifications to parents may person want to scratch a lot. Head every section of hair on your head fied students are not to reenter also include suggestions for lice lay eggs on the scalp. Head to locate head lice. classrooms without a visit to the safe methods of treatment for lice eggs are called nits. health office for a clearance by family members if head lice or If students have head lice, a credentialed school nurse or nits are detected. Best practice here's what we'll do: trained designee. is to include a statement that We'll send a parent note home parents may wish to contact with those students, which will their personal health care explain how to get rid of the head provider for advice or lice. Usually this means using a treatment. Also, invite parents Who can get head lice? special shampoo according to the to contact school health office Anyone can get head lice. Lice directions on the label. Different The school nurse or a trained for questions or resources for are not concerned about skin or products have different directions. volunteer should be scheduled assistance, if needed. Treat- hair color, males and females, Always read the product label. on school site for the next two ment suggestions may include how old a person's head is. Or After that, the parents must look days, to assist with follow-up the use of anti-lice shampoos, even how much money someone through their students’ hair and, assessments on students and to rinses and gels, combined with has. Head lice are "equal with a special comb, remove any provide any additional support thorough combing. Encourage opportunity" critters. In other lice or nits they find. for families still infested. s parents to speak openly with word, head lice like to live with their children regarding head everyone! Many students all How to help each other look lice and methods to avoid across America get head lice. for head lice: SuggestedReading/Resources: exposure to them. Suggestions So, if a student does get head Teachers can be creative here, Benenson, Abram S., Control of for lice discussion topics are in lice, it is nothing to be using methods that are fun and Communicable Diseases in Man, the next section. embarrassed or ashamed about. interesting to the students. Sixteenth Edition, American Public Health Association, Week of the screening: On the day of the screening: Washington, DC, 1995. Provide teachers with a Starting with the youngest age written schedule that includes groups, have each class line up Committee on Infectious the date and time each teacher in the order of a printed class Diseases, American Academy of is to have students lined up at roster. Pediatrics, The Red Book Report, the health office door or Twenty Sixth Edition, American designated screening location. Depending on school policy, the Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Encourage teachers to discuss How do head lice spread? identified students may be Grove Village, IL 1999. the upcoming screening with Direct head-to-head contact allowed to return to their “My Special Day” their students and ways that spreads lice. Lice do not fly or classroom in order to alleviate students can support each A coloring sheet designed to jump. They crawl very, very fast. any possible anxiety or peer other on, or prior to that date. teach young students about head Sharing personal items can pressure on the day of screening. Stress the importance of spread head lice. lice. The sheet includes simple Give each teacher a copy of empowering the students his/her class roster with the information on lice treatment, through awareness education Examples include: circled names. At the end of the also related household cleaning to help alleviate any • Personal items (clothing, school day, have the teachers instructions, and is an appropri- embarrassment and fears combs, headbands, hats, gather the students that will be ate classroom tool to use in about head lice. An “scrunchies” and scarves) in need of home treatments. conjunction with a school wide educational coloring sheet • Towels, linens, pillow, Provide each identified student screening. “My Special Day” is designed for student use is a carpeting and naptime with an envelope containing the printed in English, Spanish and fun way to help educate about blankets head lice notification letter and French. Copies may be obtained, head lice and what can be • Stuffed animals, dolls and suggestions to the parent for free of charge, by calling: done about them. cloth toys. treatment options for their child. 1-877-LICE-877.
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