Pediculosis (Head Lice)

Head Lice Policy (All schools)

There is now a “no head lice” policy for all NYC public schools, but no longer a “no nit” policy. Students found to have live head lice will be excluded from school and not allowed to return until they are lice-free. Students will be reexamined in 14 days to confirm that they have remained lice-free.  Students with nits and no evidence of live head lice will not be excluded from school.

Studies have shown that school-wide screenings for nits are time consuming, costly, and ineffective. Nits are not equivalent to head lice and should not result in school exclusion or a school-wide surveillance initiative. On the other hand, “no head lice” policies are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and the National Association of School Nurses. Similar policies have been adopted successfully by school systems throughout the country.

Please work closely with your school nurse to train staff to conduct head lice inspections. The school nurse is the best resource for educating parents and teachers about head lice. For more information about this new policy, please read this memo.

For additional information, contact Dr. Cheryl Lawrence at or (347) 396-4715. For questions on policy implementation, please contact your CFN Health Liaison or regional nursing director. 

Pediculosis Fact Sheet
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Guidance for Families on Getting Rid of Head Lice
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Facts About Head Lice 
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Individual Lice Letter    
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Class Lice Letter
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