schools easing up on head lice policies

More California Schools are Easing Up on Head Lice Policies

Years ago, when a child had head lice, the parent would be contacted and the child would be sent home. Parents in the school would receive a “lice note” to let them know of the issue. In fact, many schools had a strict “no nit” policy, meaning that the student was not allowed to return to class until no nits were present.

But, this is quickly changing.

While some schools still have no nit policies, many are becoming less restrictive in their guidelines. In California, more schools are allowing children to stay in class even if they have lice. Parents are notified and expected to treat the lice that day. As long as they do this, the child can return to school the next day.

If you’re an unhappy parent, you’re not alone.

Why the Shifting Policies?

The reasons why California schools are easing up on head lice policies are to keep children from missing class, protect child privacy and prevent unnecessary embarrassment. Not to mention, once a child is sent to the nurse with lice, they could have had it for several weeks or more. Children in the class would have already been exposed, so sending the student home early is unlikely to decrease the risk of transmission.

Even though lice don’t carry disease, they are a major nuisance. It can take hours to pick out tiny eggs from a child’s hair. Plus, lice can easily spread between siblings since they often share blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. These less restrictive school policies may make sense from a medical or scientific standpoint, but they make things much worse on families.

Ways to Prevent Head Lice

As more schools in California have less restrictive head lice policies, it’s clear that healthy habits and awareness need to start at home. Here are some of the best ways to prevent lice from coming home with your child:

  • Encourage your child to avoid sharing things that have been on or near another child’s head, such as scarves, hats, helmets or barrettes.
  • Teach your child to hang their coats and hats on an individual hook.
  • Regularly clean items that touch your child’s head, such as pillows and headphones.
  • Check your child’s hair once a week for signs of lice.
  • Use lice prevention products that contain essential oils, such as rosemary, lemongrass, tea tree, citronella or eucalyptus. These ingredients have been shown to repel lice.

Remember, lice do not care if the hair is clean or dirty. Therefore, washing your child’s hair or keeping it pinned up won’t stop a case of head lice.

Treat and Prevent Head Lice with My Hair Helpers

If you are concerned about lice in your child’s school, be vigilant and check your child’s hair each week. If your child does have lice, we have a same-day lice removal service in our salon or at your home. Plus, our Complete Lice Prevention Kit from My Hair Helpers includes everything needed to prevent head lice in your child: shampoo, conditioner, detangler, mint spray and a lice comb. Order yours today and keep the whole family lice free!

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