Little Timmy was so excited to go to the zoo. He had never been on a class field trip before and was happy that his first one would consist of giraffes and gorillas. He knew exactly which outfit he would wear and already had his sack lunch packed and ready to go. Nothing would stop him from going to the zoo for the first time, not even an itchy head. Yepp, that’s right, Timmy got head lice and didn’t tell his parents so he wound up giving it to his friends and contributing to a head lice outbreak at the zoo. There were plenty of opportunities for those lice to spread as kids gathered close together to take pictures.
Luckily, Timmy’s parents had talked to school’s officials about head lice procedures at the beginning of the semester so they knew exactly how it would be handled, which is something we recommend for all parents with school-aged children.
Beginning Of The School Year
We recommend all parents to talk to their child’s school officials about head lice procedures at the beginning of the year before a head lice outbreak occurs. Nobody is in a state of crisis; everyone is calm and the real stress hasn’t hit yet. It’s helpful to know the processes and procedures in place for a head lice outbreak. Do they have a no nit policy? Are kids allowed to come to school if they knowingly have lice? These are some questions to ask. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.” That being said, it is important to know the school’s opinion on a head lice outbreak as well.
We’re All In This Together
If you’re the one who finds lice on your child’s head, contact the school nurse to let them know. If another child had a head lice outbreak, you’d want to know about it, right? This allows the school to let parents know to check their child for lice. Letting school officials know will help the head lice outbreak be as mild as possible. The CDC states that “Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued.” One of the biggest reasons they believe this is because “The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families, and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.” We can all find comfort in the fact that head lice are not dangerous. They are also extremely common.
If The Teacher Discovers The Head Lice Outbreak First
If the school calls you to inform you that your child may have head lice, don’t get offended or embarrassed or get angry with whoever called you. School leaders are just doing their job and most of the time, they will help you in the process. You may not have ever dealt with lice before, but they have many times. Listen to their counsel and work with them, not against them.
Come To Us For Treatment
Lastly, if you’re in need of head lice treatment and safety is important to you, we have head lice treatments that won’t expose your child to harmful chemicals or pesticides. Give us a call to book an appointment.