Head Lice

Pediculosis (Head Lice)

St. Mary Catholic Elementary School will be conducting Pediculosis (head lice) checks in February and late spring.

Pediculosis/head lice are tiny bugs that live on the scalp of humans. They do not have wings so they cannot fly or jump. Head lice are not found on cats, dogs or other household pets. The bites from head lice cause itching and scratching. Nits are the eggs that head lice lay. Live eggs range in colour from off-white to dark brown, and are typically half the size of a pin head. Nits stick to the hair and do not fall off if touched. After nits hatch, the shells are white. These empty shells stay on the hair as the hair grows.

Head lice are not a reflection of being unclean. Head lice are a recurring problem which can affect anyone in direct contact. Once lice are present in a classroom or school, it can be difficult to manage without a careful screening process.


    • If your child has head lice, please inform the school immediately. Information and support will be provided regarding treatment.

    • If your child has head lice, he/she will be sent home to receive treatment. Please consult with a pharmacist, health practitioner, or your family physician to determine the appropriate treatment.

    • Your child can return to school when all the lice and nits have been removed from his/her hair.

    • When your child returns to school, he/she will receive a lice re-screening by the Principal, his/her designate, a designated volunteer(s) or professional. If a child is clear of lice and nits, his/her parents will receive a written note permitting the child to return to school. If lice or nits are still present, the Principal, his/her designate, a designated volunteer(s), or professional will provide assistance and suggestions for further treatment.

For additional information, you can read the Board's Pediculosis - Policy 316 and Don't Let Head Lice Bug You: Information for Students & Parents or visit the Peterborough County - City Health Unit.