A guidance note about head lice

Although head lice are quite common in childhood and are often noted amongst children in school, spread occurs wherever children socialise. It is not recommended that schools send out letters to parents whenever a teacher suspects a case of head lice infection. The reason for this is that it is likely that there will always be some cases of head lice infection in school; this is normal.

Sending out letters can give the impression that an outbreak is occurring rather than an expected and normal number of cases. Schools are not responsible for detecting, treating or excluding children who are thought to have a head lice infection. This is a family duty. Therefore, regular detection combing is recommended within families to ensure early detection and treatment of cases.

Schools are recommended to provide parents with information in newsletters or at the beginning of term.