New School Lice Policies on the Way

Imagine having to pick your child from school in the middle of the day because you receiveda call from the principal’soffice who dares to claim your child hashead lice! You take him home, spend hours combing through his hair with a lice comb, using a concoction of lice treatments on his head and send him back to school the next day, hoping no more of his education will be compromised. But alas! You get a call yet again! Your child has now missed not one, but two days of school—all because theschool nurse found the husk of a hatched lice egg sticking to your child’s hair!

The “No Nit” Head Lice Policy

For years, most schools have had a strict “no nit” head lice policy that prevents children with adult lice or lice eggs—whether dead or alive—from returning to school until every single nit is gone. In reality, many school nurses tend to remove the few nits they see if they see no signs of any other live lice or nits. However, many nurses do send the child home if even a single nit is detected, making him miss out on precious school time.

The “No Live Lice” Policy

A more lenient form of lice policy, the “no live lice” policy allows children to stay in school even if nits are detected if no live lice are detected. In some cases, even children with “active” cases of head lice are allowed to stay in school until the end of the day but are not allowed back in until their heads have been treated. While the child may not miss school on the day of the inspection, he may miss out a number of days following it!

The “Live Lice and Nits” Allowed Policy

The most lenient of all three policies, this policy banks on educating children and parents on head lice removal, treatment and prevention to keep the critters out of the classroom. The child misses no hours of school and gets some extra, valuable information in the process!

The Reason behind the Variation in Policies

According to esteemed organizations like the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN)“no nit” policies result in absenteeism from school. Because dandruff can often be confused with nits, there are very high chances of a misdiagnosis, especially when the inspection is conducted by non-medical personnel. On the other hand, by the time nits are detected, they have already been in the head for quite some time. Because nits require a stable temperature to hatch, once the hair grows out and the nit is no longer close to the scalp, it may pose no threat either to the child or to his classmates. Preventing children from attending school due to an inactive case of head lice can cause children to miss around 2.74 million days of school! That being said, if kids do have lice, the no-nit policy helps control the infestation from becoming an epidemic. This presents a massive burden on families, society and resources. Better safe than sorry. If there is a risk of an infestation, help your kids’ school administration take preventive measures to control the matter. Help educate parents on lice removal and prevention. Get head lice inspections if you get that tingling sensation. If your child has been sent home from school due to an infestation, give Lice Troopers a call at 800-403-5423 immediately! A professional lice removal service with locations in various cities in 5 different states including Weston, Pembroke Pines, Miami and others, our lice doctors use pesticide free, chemical free treatments to get rid of your child’s lice infestation in just a single sitting! Whether you want an in-house treatment or would like to book an appointment for our clinic, we’re always here to solve your head lice problems!