Need to Know: SCCPSS Head lice policy following letter to parents

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga (WSAV) – No parent wants to hear lice were found in their child’s school. With a type of “super” lice possible in Georgia school systems, we reached out to Savannah-Chatham Public school officials after some parents were told lice was found at their kid’s school.

“That’s an automatic bombshell for some parents,” says SCCPSS head nurse Betty Warnock.

The bombshell of being told a student or several students in your kid’s school have head lice hit several parents with kids at May Howard Elementary in August. Warnock says currently there is no longer an issue with lice at the school.

“Now if you have like three or four classes where head lice has been found, of course we will screen those classes but one single case should not be discussed among other people, it should be the nurse and parents involved in getting that situation taken care of,” Warnock adds.

Parents at May Howard Elementary received this letter from the nurse saying lice had been found in several classrooms. The letter for the most part was meant to discuss prevention practices with parents. That’s a part of school policy at the nurse’s discretion, but according to Warnock, it’s not typical a majority of parents are notified if a student has lice, only those ones where a nurse continues to see lice on the student.

“If it’s consistent usually we contact the parent we send the information home we educate the parent.”

In Savannah-Chatham school policy head lice is treated on a case by case basis, if a faculty member thinks a student might have lice, the nurse is notified.

“If kids are not sharing scarves and hats and combs and things like that, the risk of getting it from another child at school is really low,” says Warnock.

head nurse Betty warnock  — there are many myths that come with head lice. she says no major cases of head live nor super lice have been found this year in the schools. for parents they need to know that lice do not jump from student to student and the school no longer excludes kids from class if they have lice.

“I don’t think it’s a hygiene problem at all, it’s not saying that the parent is dirty, the home is dirty,the child is dirty, that’s not the issue, the issue is more education.”

Here are some tips school nurses offer for parents when lice is detected or preventing them before they become a problem:

When checking your child, look for:

  • Very itchy scalp;
  • White, black, or clear “egg”-looking particles (nits) on strands of hair, located near the scalp. Also search for nits at the back of the neck, behind the ears, and at the top of the head; and
  • Live lice, which are small , black or white  in color.

If you suspect that your child has lice, please take the following precautions:

  • Ask your health care provider to diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.
  • Inform the school nurse if your child is diagnosed as having head lice.
  • If live head lice is diagnosed, your child may not return to school until she/he has been treated.
  • Your child’s head will be checked for 10-14 days to ensure no new nits or live lice are present.

Although it is impossible to eliminate the chance of your child getting lice, here are some tips to reduce the likelihood:

  • Do not share combs, brushes, or towels.
  • Do not share items such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair accessories, etc.
  • Girls may wish to wear their hair in a ponytail, braid, or bun.
  • Avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities (sports activities, playground, sleepovers, camp, etc…).

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