Information about Bed Bugs and Lice
Bed bugs are brought into buildings on peoples' belongings. Students, staff, faculty – anyone – can bring bed bugs to school. The key is to educate everyone as much as possible to stop bed bugs at their source - 99% of the time it is the home. The American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control do not support exclusion of students from school for bed bugs.
How did the District develop guidance for lice?
The District follows the recommendations of the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American School Health Association. None of these organizations recommend excluding a student with lice/nits and they do not support automatically checking all students' heads in a classroom for lice. When lice are found on a child at school, the parents are notified and the school nurse provides the parent with information on appropriate treatment.
What is the science behind their recommendations?
- Lice primarily spread through direct head to head contact.
- Lice can only crawl; they can neither jump nor fly.
- Lice do not cause disease and are not dangerous to individuals.
- By the time lice are discovered the individual has usually had them for 3-4 weeks.
- Research has consistently shown school is rarely the place of lice transmissions.
- The majority of live cases are spread in households and sleep overs.
- The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
- Lice cause an emotional reaction. “No ‘nit” policies were based on the emotional reaction and not on scientific evidence of how lice were passed.