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Schools May Halt Head Lice Screenings

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees will reconsider its head lice policy at its Wednesday evening meeting.

Schools may stop routine head lice screenings and students with head lice may no longer be sent home from school, if the Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees approves a policy change Wednesday.

New guidance from the state Department of Public Health prompted the proposed alteration. The California Department of Public Health adopted the new policy in September, according to the Register Pajaronian.

  • It's no longer recommends routine school-wide screenings of students.
  • School staff are not required to check of siblings of infected students.
  • A student with active head lice can stay in school (currently, they are sent home once the head lice is discovered).
  • It's up to the school principal to decide of parents of other students in the class will be notified of the head lice case.

What that means is parents would now have more responsibility to manage head lice cases at home the evening they are discovered. The student would not be allowed back at school the following day if active head lice are found again.

Chronic head lice cases would be managed by a team of school staff, social services and the local health department.

The school board was going to discuss this proposal on Oct. 10, but the issue was postponed to allow Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Ylda Nogueda to review the proposal.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Pajaro Valley Unified School District offices on Green Valley Road.

lupe carmona October 25, 2012 at 04:38 PM
No... I think is a must to send these kids home!!!!
amy chinian October 26, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Big mistake not to send them home.Instead they need to be educated and treat the hair with natural products and a spiral toothed comb. Combing daily, is important to stay ahead of the lice!
Jennifer Squires October 26, 2012 at 06:12 PM
A school nurse said "Lice are a nuisance but they don't transmit diseases, and the majority of cases are not transmitted at school" at the school board meeting. Also, apparently kids have lice for 4-6 weeks by the time they start scratching their heads constantly. More here: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_21849929
David Frisco October 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Circle, Circle, dot, dot, now you have your Cottie Shot! It might work, just say'n.
marcy McQuillan October 27, 2012 at 01:06 AM
I too feel that these decisions might mean that head lice will be rampant. I have dealt with the head lice issues first hand with my own children when they were young, and the countless hours that it takes as well to try and rid of them. I have a true understanding of the stigma and embarrassment that adults and children alike feel when faced with a lice infestation. That is the reason that I have opened "Nitless Noggins Head Lice Treatment Center" in Scotts Valley. The anxiety that it brings when products are not working bring parents to extreme measures. I have seen first hand children with such severe cases that some parents actually result to drastic measures such as gasoline, kerosene, and even RAID! The big issue is that the lice have become resistant to the many of the products on the market, and a shampoo and a few comb-outs with the comb is not always enough anymore when the child has had it for quite some time. Yes, some products work if they catch it early. We do not use chemicals or pesticides. I use the LouseBuster device which uses controlled heated air and is also one of the options recommended by the State of California-Health and Human Services agency for Guidelines on Head Lice Prevention and Control for School Districts and Child Care Facilities. I have had nothing but positive results. I am here for those of you who need to be treated or educated on what to do with your home environment. A single 30 minute treatment plus a com-out.

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