For the second time in the few weeks since the start of the school year, parents of students in the before- and after-school care program at Eason Elementary were told of another outbreak of head lice among students.
Gretchen Grevas Stanger, site supervisor of the before- and after-school care program at Eason, sent out an e-mail Tuesday alerting parents with kids in the program that there have been three cases of head lice reported this week.
In the e-mail, Grevas Stanger wrote: "In the past two days, I have had 3 new cases of head lice reported to me by parents of children in the Before and After School program. We currently have the head lice 'health alert' sign posted near the sign-in/out table so that you are aware of the active cases that were recently reported and what you should look for when identifying head lice in your child’s hair."
The warning comes on the heels of last week's Waukee School Board meeting where board members voted to send a proposal of the a head lice notification policy to the district's policy committee.
Currently, the Waukee schools do not have a policy in place that would require teachers and staff to notify parents when a case of head lice has been identified their child's classroom. Some parents in the district rallied to get the board to change its policy with a petition that gathered more than 200 signatures in a week.
Parents with children in the before- and after-school care program were notified of the incidents of head lice Tuesday because the program follows policies and procedures set forth by the YMCA and State of Iowa Child Care licensing requirements, not the Waukee Community Schools.
Those requirements are:
- If your child is found to have head lice while at the site, you will be called to pick up your child immediately and follow the steps below.
- If you find head lice on your child, we ask that you notify the site immediately.
If you find head lice on your child, you must follow the steps below:
- All cases of head lice remain confidential.
- Your child will need to be treated with over-the-counter medication.
- Your child will NOT be allowed back to the site for 24 hours from when they have been treated, and can return only if there is no longer evidence of nits in the hair.
Grevas' e-mail included the following facts about head lice:
- Adult head lice off their human hosts will generally not survive for more than 24 hours.
- A female louse lays 3-5 eggs per day.
- Once laid, it takes 7-10 days for a nit to hatch.
- Lice are mature and will lay eggs when they are 7-10 days old.
- Head lice cannot hop, jump, or fly.