Policy 5533.2 – Pediculosis (Head Lice)

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pediculosis (head lice) infestation is common among children 3 to12 years of age. Although head lice can be a nuisance, head lice have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school is unrelated to infestation of head lice. Though head lice infestation is often discovered in school, it is usually acquired through direct head-to-head contact elsewhere.

In collaboration with district administration, district nurses and staff will administer the district lice prevention and management plan.

Kenosha Unified School District principals and school office staff will be trained by Kenosha Unified school nurses and Kenosha County public health nurses to implement the head lice prevention and management plan.


  • Wisconsin Statutes
    • Section: 252.21 Communicable disease reporting]
  • HSS 145.06, Wisconsin Administrative Code Special disease control measures; pediculosis


  • 5310 Student Attendance
  • 5533 Communicable Disease Control 5540 Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect

AFFIRMED: August 13, 1991


  • February 10, 1998
  • September 24, 2019

Rule 5533.2 – Pediculosis

  1. Definitions
    1. Head lice: Tiny gray to brown insects about the size of a sesame seed that live in human hair close to the scalp and feed on human blood to survive. Lice do not fly or jump, but crawl. Without a human host, lice can only live for about 1 to 2 days1.
    2. Nits: Small lice eggs firmly attached to the base of the hair shaft nearest the scalp. Nits that are likely to hatch are usually located no more than ¼ inch from the base of the hair shaft. Nits located further than ¼ inch from the base of hair shaft may be already hatched, non-viable, or empty casings1.
  2. Prevention and Management Plan
    1. A trained staff member will check a student’s head for lice, ensuring student privacy and confidentiality, if he/she is demonstrating symptoms such as: a tickling feeling of something moving in the hair, itching of the scalp, irritability and difficulty sleeping (head lice are most active in the dark), or sores on the head caused by scratching1.
    2. Classroom inspections will not be conducted and notifications to all families will not be sent home.
    3. Parents and/or guardians of students with head lice will be contacted immediately, and students will be sent home for proper treatment.
    4. Trained school staff will advise parents that treatment options should be discussed with a healthcare provider or pharmacist.
    5. Students with nits only will not be sent home from school but will be checked periodically for signs of reinfestation by trained school staff ensuring student privacy and confidentiality. 1, 2


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/,
2 National Association of School Nurses. (2016) Position Statement: Pediculosis Management in the School Setting. http://www.nasn.org/PolicyAdvocacy/PositionPapersnadReports/NASNPositionStatementsFullView/tabid/462/ArticleI d/934/Head-Lice-Management-in-the-School-Setting-Revised-2016