Illness prevention, Immunization Exclusion Day and head lice reminders

Jan. 9, 2018

Illness prevention:

Remember, the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. And, be sure to encourage hand washing often during this time of colds, flus and stomach bugs. (Read more in “Health news for the school year”.)



Please continue to provide updated immunization records if your child receives vaccinations. Exclusion letters will be mailed mid-January and Exclusion Day is Feb. 21. If your student’s Certificate of Immunization Status is not up to date by the morning of Feb. 21, your student will be excluded from school, per Oregon law. If a parent/guardian opts for a non-medical exemption, please visit the Oregon Health Authority website to complete the vaccine education modules. Once the modules are completed, please print the certificate, return it to the school, and update the signature on the Certificate of Immunization Status.  


Head Lice:

Lice are an occasional visitor and concern for elementary and middle school students. It is not unusual to find head lice in our school community at times throughout the school year. Getting head lice can happen to any child and is not a reason for panic or embarrassment. Having head lice is not associated with age, sex, race, social class, or hygiene. Head lice are not considered a health hazard as they do not spread illness or disease, but can be a nuisance and cause a disruption at home and to your daily routine. Head lice are wingless insects that do not fly, hop, or jump, but move and multiply very quickly.

Lice are spread through:

  • Direct head to head contact
  • Sharing hats, clothing, or helmets
  • Sharing hair grooming articles and hair decorations or accessories


The most effective actions for preventing the spread of head lice are:

  • Routine weekly checking at home for head lice (about the size of a sesame seed) and nits, which are lice eggs (about the size of a poppy seed) and are attached to the hair shaft by a type of “insect super glue.” Neither lice nor nits can be blown off the hair or scalp.
  • If live lice are found, treat with an FDA-approved pediculocide and comb for nits. Combing with a fine tooth metal comb is one of the most important steps to removing nits and preventing re-infestation of lice.
  • Teach your children not to share clothing, hats, helmets, grooming items or hair accessories.


Riverdale School District policy calls for exclusion of students for live lice and for nits. If either are found, the student is sent home for treatment and will be rescreened before returning to the classroom until no evidence of lice or nits are present. 

MESD offers lice information and videos on its website.