The current state recommendations for head lice include exclusion for LIVE LICE only, not nits in Oregon. Students with live lice should be treated before returning to school.
The national standards from the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Centers for Disease Control and The National Association of School Nurses advise against excluding children for head lice, rather promote treating students as soon as lice is found at the end of the school day.
The rationale behind this is promotion of optimal school attendance and dispelling myths associated with lice:
- Lice is not an infectious disease, it is a nuisance disease.
- Lice does not cause illness.
- Anyone can get lice, it is not associated with lack of cleanliness.
- Chronic infections are rarely due to lack of treatment of the individual, rather ineffective treatment of those around them, not addressing the environment or because of resistance to pesticide shampoos.
- For more information related to lice, please see
The following procedure is used for Head Lice Exclusion:
- A student found to have live head lice will be sent home with the parent/guardian and treated for lice. Please see below for treatment guidelines.
- Once the treatment process is completed, the parent/guardian will bring the student to school.
- If no live lice are found, the student may return to class. The student will continue to be combed at home. Nit combing should continue for at least 2 weeks while hair grows out.
- If live lice are found, the student will be sent home from school until all lice and nits have been removed.
- If a student is found to have nits only, the student may return to class.
GUIDELINES FOR TREATING HEAD LICE
ALL TREATMENT STEPS MUST BE DONE ON THE SAME DAY FOR EFFECTIVE TREATMENT.
- Vacuum all carpets, floors, mattresses, furniture and the car. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in the outside trash when finished.
- Wash ALL clothing and bed linens in HOT water.
- NON-WASHABLE items should be either: dry cleaned, placed in a HOT clothes dryer for 20 minutes (pillows, stuffed toys, etc.), placed in freezer for 48 hours, or sealed in a plastic bag for 14 days.
- Treat ALL brushes and combs by boiling for 10 minutes OR soaking in lice shampoo for 10 minutes.
- If using commercial lice hair products, treat all affected household members at the SAME TIME. Before application, wash hair with a basic perfume and conditioner free shampoo.
- DO NOT USE CHEMICALS SUCH AS GASOLINE OR KEROSENE TO TREAT CHILDREN FOR HEAD LICE.
- Comb hair thoroughly with a clean comb or brush.
- Remove ALL NITS with a nit comb, fingernails, or tweezers to prevent REINFESTATION by any nits not killed by the medications.
- Notify all people who have recently been in contact with the exposed household member.
- Contact your physician, health department, or school nurse for further directions or advice.