A Note from the Wakefield School Department Health Office

Dear Parents/Guardians.

To date, there have been a few reported cases of head lice at schools across the district. Per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), NASN (National Association of School Nurses), AAP (The American Academy of Pediatrics) and the MDPH (Massachusetts Department of Public Health), no nit policies are no longer advised. It is also their position that classroom checks should not be done because of the stigma, embarrassment and a student’s right to confidentiality.

In school, if a child complains of his/her head being itchy, the individual child will be checked by the school nurse.  If checked and live lice are found a parent will be contacted for dismissal.  If only nits are found, a parent will be contacted, advised to treat the child and the child will be allowed to remain in school.

We ask that any child with a known case of head lice be checked by the school nurse before returning to school. This ensures progress is being made toward eradicating the nits and that there are no live lice. In many cases, this may be a help to parents as it is a second set of eyes.

There are many treatments for head lice including: over the counter shampoos, agencies that deal with removal of nits, all natural remedies and prescription medications.  If uncertain which treatment to choose we advise that you ask your child’s pediatrician. Whichever you choose, all treatments involve removal of live lice, removal of nits that may be viable, and continued monitoring for several weeks to prevent re-infestation.