Kids with Lice Should Go to School Anyway? Ick!

Just thinking about head lice makes my skin crawl -- and now I may have more reason to worry that my kids are bringing home those little brown bugs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a new report that gives kids with active lice infestations the thumbs-up to go to school. The AAP's research shows that "no-nit" policies, like the one in place at my daughters' schools, don’t keep lice from spreading to others, since nits "stay put." It says that those policies create way more drama than necessary, since head lice is more of a nuisance than an actual health hazard.

It also calls for an end to full-class lice checks and instead suggests spot checking when there’s an itchy scalp or other signs of infestation. I know the AAP has science on its side, but I’m not entirely buying into this brave new world of allowing lice in the schools. I think there’d be too many opportunities for adult bugs to slip through the cracks, so to speak, and widespread infestations to happen.

I shudder at the thought of trying to comb bugs out of my daughter’s thick, waist-length hair -- so much so that I’ve launched a full-on fear campaign on how sharing even a teeny-tiny barrette can mean (cue the sinister music) bugs in your hair. Seems like if this new report creates a change in school policies, I’ll need to step up my campaign.

If your child is unfortunate enough to end up with lice, doctors still recommend over-the-counter delousers like Nix and RID as the first line of defense, and stronger prescription products for stubborn cases. (The jury's still out on the effectiveness of Vaseline and mayonnaise as alternative treatments.)

Do you think schools should let nit-infested kids in class? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
- Head Lice
- Is Lice Treatment Safe While Nursing?
- Lice: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

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