Getting a call from school saying that your child has head lice is never a good feeling - but rest assured that lice are 100% treatable when you use the right lice treatment for kids. Better yet, your child might not have to miss much school at all - if any!Things are gradually improving when it comes to head lice and schools. Based on research, we know that students do not need to be sent home because they have head lice, and they can return once the lice are treated. This is far different from back in the day when head lice used to keep kids out of school for days or weeks.
So what changed? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) say that no-nit policies should be discontinued across all schools because they are ineffective. Let’s learn more about what has changed, why it has changed and when your child can return to school.
Why Schools are Discontinuing No-Nit PoliciesNo-nit policies were designed to minimize head lice infestations in public settings. Under these policies, children were not allowed in school if they had any nits (eggs) on their head. At this time, almost every school had a no-nit policy. In April 2015, the AAP issued the official advice that a healthy child should not be withheld from school because of lice. Instead, children with head lice should finish the school day, be treated at home and return to school.
Here are some of the reasons for discontinuing no-nit policies:
- Many nits are located ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch and become crawling lice. Instead, they are often empty shells or ‘casings.’
- Nits stay cemented onto the hair shaft. Nits firmly plant themselves to the hair shaft so that they can feed on blood. Because of this, they are very unlikely to spread to another person.
- Keeping kids out of school has social and academic consequences. No-nit policies lead to problems like chronic absenteeism, missed work, hardships on families and more. Staying in school outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
When Can My Child Go Back to School?Whether the school nurse called you, or you found head lice on your own, your child can return to school as soon as they are treated. You can order our safe, effective dimethicone lice oil from our website and have it delivered to your home right away. Once the treatment is applied, your child is free to return to school. We do remind parents and guardians to follow all instructions, as a second treatment is typically recommended. This treatment will remove any newly hatched lice that may have made it through the first treatment. It’s also a good idea to
continue wet combing your child’s hair so that you can pick out any remaining lice.
To sum things up, if your child has head lice, they can stay in school for that day. They will return home, and once you apply treatment, they can return to school. Of course, check with your child’s school to learn the specifics of their lice policy, as each school operates differently.