Head lice is not uncommon among preschool and elementary school-age children and their household members. Getting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his or her environment.  Head lice are spread through close contact with an infested individual. Head lice are not a source of infection or disease; they are simply a nuisance. One of the best ways to protect your family from head lice is for you to check your child/children at home on a regular basis.

    Transmission Facts

    The most common way to get head lice is by head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. Such contact can be common among children during play at school, home, and elsewhere (e.g., sports activities, playgrounds, camp, and slumber parties). Although uncommon, head lice can be spread by sharing clothing or belongings. This happens when lice crawl, or nits attached to shed hair hatch, and get on the shared clothing or belongings.

    School Staff Procedure for Head Lice

     ​When a student is suspected of having lice or nits, the student is referred to the school nurse, health technician, or designated trained staff member for a private inspection. Universal precautions are used to avoid transmitting the lice to others.

    If only nits (eggs) are found upon inspection of the students head, the students parent/guardian will be contacted to determine if the student has been recently treated for head lice and to encourage the family to remove as many of the nits as possible. Auburn School District does not have a “no nit” policy based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Auburn School Board Policy.

    If a student is confirmed to have live lice, by evidence of a louse (live bug), the student’s parent/guardian will be notified that day by telephone or by a note sent home with the student at the end of the school day. Because a child with an active head lice infestation likely has had the infestation for 1 month or more by the time it is discovered, and poses little risk to others from the infestation, the student can remain in class but is discouraged from close direct head contact with others. Our goal is that no child miss valuable school time because of head lice. The School Nurse’s discretion may be used when making this decision, after consultation with the building administrator.

    The school nurse or health technician will provide parents with information on treatment and care options.  Confidentiality will be maintained. After treatment the child should be able to return to school the next day. When the student returns to school an adult must accompany the student to the office. The school nurse, health technician, or designated staff member will check the student to verify that he/she is head lice free.

    The student should be re-examined 8 to 10 days after returning to school to determine that there are no more live lice.

    For more detailed information regarding Auburn School District infectious Disease Policy 3414 , 3414P



    Or for head lice symptoms, treatment, and prevention:

    Washington State Dept of Health Website


    Or contact your School Nurse.