COATESVILLE POLICIES

Head Lice Policy


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1. Definition:

1.1 DET – Department of  Education and Training

1.2 DHS – Department of Human Services

2. Purpose:

2.1 To create and maintain well informed communities, including parents and teachers, in order for them to be confident in their ability to manage head lice.

2.2 To outline and reinforce an effective and consistent approach to the management of head lice infections.

3. Guidelines

3.1 While parents/guardians have primary responsibility for the detection and treatment of head lice, schools also have a role in the management  of head lice infections and in providing support for parents/guardians and students.  

3.2 That all staff and parents/carers are aware of their responsibilities in the detection and management of head lice.

3.3 Coatesville PS is committed to managing head lice in a sensitive and confidential manner.

4. Implementation

4.1 Parent/Guardian is responsible for:

4.1.1 Ensuring their child’s hair is tied back if it is longer than shoulder length.

4.1.2 Regularly (preferably once a week) inspecting their child’s hair to look for head lice or lice eggs and regularly inspecting all household members and then treating them if necessary.

4.1.3 Ensuring their child does not attend school with untreated head lice.

4.1.4 Using safe treatment practices which do not place their child’s health at risk (contact the school to obtain a copy of the Treating and Controlling Head Lice pamphlet if required).

4.1.5 Notifying the school if their child is affected and advising the school when treatment has started using a form available from the school nurse.

4.1.6 Notifying parents/guardians of your child’s friends so they too have the opportunity to detect and treat their children if necessary.

4.2 The school is responsible for:

4.2.1 Distributing policies and information on the detection, treatment and control of head lice to parents/guardians and staff and having accessible clear protocols for the inspection program that the school implements.

4.2.2 Advising that information regarding head lice can be found on http://www.health.vic.gov.au/headlice/

4.2.3 Obtaining written parental consent to conduct head lice inspections upon the enrolment of a student which covers the duration of their schooling at Coatesville PS and to nominate a trained person/s to conduct the head lice inspections, who is approved by the Principal, namely this person is the school nurse. An updated consent form will be sent out for students currently enrolled.

4.2.4 If the presence of head lice is suspected the school nurse will check the student’s hair.

4.2.5 Encouraging students to learn about head lice so as to help remove any stigma or ‘bullying’ associated with the issue.

4.2.6 Being aware that the responsibility to exclude a child from school rests with the principal.  Only children with live head lice will be excluded from school and early until treatment has been undertaken to remove the head lice.

4.2.7 Children found only with lice eggs may remain at school but will be sent home with a note requesting the parent/guardian/carer undertake head lice treatment as soon as possible.

4.2.8 Where appropriate, and at the principal’s discretion, an alert notice will be distributed to the school community when head lice has been detected at the school.

4.3 The school has a commitment to:

4.3.1 providing comprehensive advice and information about the use of safe treatment practices which do not place children’s health at risk;

4.3.2 including information and updates in the school newsletter as required;

4.3.3 including annual head lice updates for staff induction programs;

4.3.4 being aware of the real difficulties some parents may have with treating headlice and seek extra support if required;

4.3.5 helping reduce stigma associated with head lice infestation;

4.3.6 maintaining confidentiality of the names of children with head lice infestation;

4.3.7 informing parents/carers of children in a class where head lice has been detected; and following the School Exclusion Policy ib the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 such that the responsibility to exclude a child from school rests with the principal or delegate