Important Information for Parents

Bed Bugs Protocol

  • The district policy addressing Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) is based on research. 

    Bed Bugs Infestation

    • The source of bed bugs often cannot be determined, as bed bugs may be found in many places including hotels, planes, and movie theaters
    • Not a health hazard
    • Not a sign of uncleanliness
    • Not responsible for the spread of disease
    • Bed bug bites can be very itchy and irritating
    • A female lays 5-7 eggs per week and if fed, will lay 200-500 eggs in her life. Eggs take about 10 days to hatch
    • Can live several months without a blood meal.
    • Bed bugs are fully grown in 2 to 4 months and can live as long as a year
    • Bed bugs can enter homes by latching onto used furniture, luggage, and clothing, and by traveling along connecting pipes and wiring.

     Transmission      

    Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe.

     Diagnosis             

    One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

    • the bed bug’s exoskeleton after molting
    • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets
    • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and a sweet musty odor

     Prevention

    • Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying.
    • If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs.
    • The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

     Management on the day of diagnosis

    • Bed bugs and/or bite marks are detected on student’s extremities
    • Student should return to class
    • Parent/guardian is notified each time bed bugs/bites are detected on their child
    • Confidentiality must be maintained

     Follow up Management

    • Parents must accompany the student, at the request of the school principal only.
    • If bed bug-free, student will be allowed to remain in school. If bed bugs are detected, the student will be sent home.
    • School personnel (Social Worker, Say Yes Facilitator, etc…) will support & assist parents with identifying resources.

    School-wide & classroom-wide screening for bed bugs is not done

    Common sense should prevail.

    • Notification of parents is dependent on number of students with bed bugs identified in a classroom, number of times it has occurred, and other variables. Notification of all parents every time bed bugs are detected, in a classroom or the school, is unproductive.

    Parents are encouraged to make checking for bed bugs a part of routine hygiene

Head Lice Protocol

  • Head Lice Infestation

    • Common among children 3 to 12 years of age
    • Not a health hazard
    • Not a sign of uncleanliness
    • Not responsible for the spread of disease
    • Adult louse: 2 to 3 mm long, usually pale grey, female lice live up to 3 to 4 weeks and lay approximately 10 eggs (nits) a day
    • Nits are firmly attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp
    • Nits incubate by body heat and hatch in 10 to 14 days
    • If not treated, the cycle may repeat itself every 3 weeks
    • They usually survive for less than 1 day away from the scalp at normal room temperatures
    • Nits cannot hatch at temperatures lower than that near the scalp

     LICE CANNOT HOP OR FLY - THEY CRAWL

     Transmission in most cases occurs by direct contact with the head of another infested individual.  Personal belongings of an infested individual (combs, brushes, hats) is less likely to be a source of transmission of lice, but cannot be excluded.

     Diagnosis

    Finding a live louse can be difficult because they can crawl ¼ to 1½ inches per minute. Nits may be easier to spot especially at the nape of the neck or behind the ears, within ½ inch of the scalp. Nits are difficult to remove because they are “glued” on. In general, nits found more than ½ inch from the scalp are unlikely to survive.

     Prevention

    Teach children not to share personal items such as combs, brushes, hats, pillows or sports jerseys and keep long hair braided or in pony tails in school.

    Management on the day of diagnosis

    Lice and/or nits are detected on student’s scalp

    Student should return to class

    Parent/guardian is notified each time live lice are detected on their child’s scalp

    Confidentiality must be maintained

    Nurse will inform classroom teacher

     Follow up Management

    Student cannot return to school until lice free (no live lice), and a reduction of nits

    Upon return to school the student will not return to class until cleared by the school nurse.

    If lice-free, the student will be allowed to remain in school.  If live lice are detected, the student will be sent home. Parents must accompany the student, at the request of school principal and/or nurse only. 

     School-wide & classroom-wide screening for head lice is not done

     Common sense should prevail.

    Notification of parents is dependent upon the number of students with live lice identified in a classroom, the number of times it has occurred, and other variables.  Notification of all parents every time lice are detected, in a classroom or the school, is unproductive.

    Parents are encouraged to make checking for head lice a part of routine hygiene

Scabies Protocol and Prevention

  • Prevention

    Keep Skin covered to prevent spread

    Teach children not to share personal items.

    Management on the day of diagnosis

    Student should return to class

    Parent/guardian is notified

    Confidentiality must be maintained

    Follow up Management

    Student cannot return to school until treated.

    Common sense should prevail.

    Notification of parents every time a student is identified with scabies is unproductive.

    What is scabies?

    Scabies is an infestation of the skin with the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabei. Infestation is common, found worldwide, and affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies spreads rapidly under crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people, such as in hospitals, institutions, child-care facilities, and nursing homes.

    What are the signs and symptoms of scabies infestation?

    • Pimple-like irritations, burrows or rash of the skin, especially the webbing between the fingers; the skin folds on the wrist, elbow, or knee; the penis, the breast, or shoulder blades.
    • Intense itching, especially at night and over most of the body.
    • Sores on the body caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected with bacteria.

    How did I get scabies?

    By direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person already infested with scabies. Contact must be prolonged (a quick handshake or hug will usually not spread infestation). Infestation is easily spread to sexual partners and household members. Infestation may also occur by sharing clothing, towels, and bedding.

    Who is at risk for severe infestation?

    People with weakened immune systems and the elderly are at risk for a more severe form of scabies, called Norwegian or crusted scabies.

    How long will mites live?

    Once away from the human body, mites do not survive more than 48-72 hours. When living on a person, an adult female mite can live up to a month.

    Did my pet spread scabies to me?

    No. Pets become infested with a different kind of scabies mite. If your pet is infested with scabies, (also called mange) and they have close contact with you, the mite can get under your skin and cause itching and skin irritation. However, the mite dies in a couple of days and does not reproduce. The mites may cause you to itch for several days, but you do not need to be treated with special medication to kill the mites. Until your pet is successfully treated, mites can continue to burrow into your skin and cause you to have symptoms.

    How soon after infestation will symptoms begin?

    For a person who has never been infested with scabies, symptoms may take 4-6 weeks to begin. For a person who has had scabies, symptoms appear within several days. You do not become immune to an infestation.

    How is scabies infestation diagnosed?

    Diagnosis is most commonly made by looking at the burrows or rash. A skin scraping may be taken to look for mites, eggs, or mite fecal matter to confirm the diagnosis. If a skin scraping or biopsy is taken and returns negative, it is possible that you may still be infested. Typically, there are fewer than 10 mites on the entire body of an infested person; this makes it easy for an infestation to be missed.

    Can scabies be treated?

    Yes. Several lotions are available to treat scabies. Always follow the directions provided by your physician or the directions on the package insert. Apply lotion to a clean body from the neck down to the toes and left overnight (8 hours). After 8 hours, take a bath or shower to wash off the lotion. Put on clean clothes. All clothes, bedding, and towels used by the infested person 2 days before treatment should be washed in hot water; dry in a hot dryer. A second treatment of the body with the same lotion may be necessary 7-10 days later. Pregnant women and children are often treated with milder scabies medications.

    Who should be treated for scabies?

    Anyone who is diagnosed with scabies, as well as his or her sexual partners and persons who have close, prolonged contact to the infested person should also be treated. If your health care provider has instructed family members to be treated, everyone should receive treatment at the same time to prevent reinfestation.

    How soon after treatment will I feel better?

    Itching may continue for 2-3 weeks, and does not mean that you are still infested. Your health care provider may prescribe additional medication to relieve itching if it is severe. No new burrows or rashes should appear 24-48 hours after effective treatment.