A lot has changed over the years in regards to head lice. No longer are kids sent home early from school if they have lice. They can go home at the end of the day and return to school once they’ve started an appropriate treatment. Because it takes about 4-6 weeks for the first signs of lice to appear, children in the classroom have already been exposed.
And, while nits can persist after treatment, most crawling lice are killed overnight. As long as the parent follows the directions, which usually involves repeating the treatment and wet combing, the infestation should stop. Head lice are a nuisance, but they do not transmit disease and they have nothing to do with personal hygiene.
Why Have School Policies Changed?
At one time, schools did send home kids who had lice and didn’t allow them to return until they were “nit free.” This is where no-nit policies came into play. Until a child was completely free of nits, they could not return to the classroom. Unfortunately, this policy created more headaches than solutions.
Children were out of school for prolonged periods of time, and they had to suffer the stigma of having lice. Even though lice have nothing to do with being clean or dirty, many people are misguided. Between missing school, falling behind in classwork and feeling stigmatized, cases of head lice created major angst for families.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that no-nit policies be discontinued. Here are some facts to back this up:
- Most nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. They’re usually not viable, which means they won’t hatch into crawling lice.
- For other nits, they firmly attach to hair shafts and are unlikely to transfer to other children in the classroom.
- The burden of missing work and school outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
- Nits are commonly misdiagnosed during nit checks when not done by a trained head lice expert or medical professional.
What Protocol Should I Follow if My Child Has Head Lice?
Always speak with your child’s school nurse first. They will direct you on how to handle the situation and what your child needs to return to school. We know how important it is to get kids back in school, but we do encourage you to take some time finding the right head lice treatment.
Unfortunately, accessible head lice removal products sold in stores often contain harsh ingredients that can cause irritation, burning and allergic reactions. Your best option is to use a safe, all-natural product that has positive reviews and a guarantee.
My Hair Helpers has a full line of nontoxic head lice removal and prevention products. They can be purchased through our website or on our Amazon store, all with quick shipping and delivery. Once you apply one treatment, your child can return to school!
For more information on our head lice treatment products and how to use them, please contact My Hair Helpers today.