National news stations are covering a recent story about Fox sports analyst, Clay Travis, whose family was kicked off of a Delta flight when head lice were discovered on his son’s head during the flight.
Travis turned online to express his anger about the situation, including how it was handled.9
According to Travis, he and his wife did not know their children had head lice, but when they discovered it, they knew exactly where it came from. Serval weeks ago, their children were around cousins who had lice.
“When my sister told me about her kids having lice, my wife bought all the over the counter lice treatments and doused our kids with it. Then she kept an eye on both boys over the next several weeks,” Travis says on his blog Out Kick the Coverage.
“During these two weeks in London and Paris our kids took regular baths and we combed their hair after each bath. At no point did either of us see any signs of lice.”
Lice Discovered Mid-Flight
The head lice were discovered halfway through their flight coming from Paris, headed to Minneapolis for a connecting flight to Nashville.
“While he was standing in line for the bathroom, my six year old started to scratch his head. My wife checked to see why he was scratching his head and saw then that he had lice. Several flight attendants rushed over too and peered down at my son’s head. ‘Oh, my God, he has lice’, they said.”
When the plane landed in Minneapolis for their connecting flight, the plane emptied and a flight attendant told Travis and his family that they could not take their connecting flight to Nashville. Travis and his wife were not happy about this and said they were not going to stay in Minneapolis. That’s when the flight attendant said that his children would have to be examined and possibly treated.
Travis failed to find any such policy about lice on the airline’s website and instead found the CDC’s information about lice stating:
“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.
Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued. “No-nit” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons:
Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as ‘casings’.
Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.
The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by nonmedical personnel.”
This confused Travis because kids are encouraged to remain at school when they have head lice, a place where they come in contact with lots of other children but they must not remain on a plane?
They were still not able to board their connecting flight and a flight attendant told them they should go to the emergency room.
Lack of Head Lice Education
This entire situation may have been handled better or avoided if the Travis family knew more about super lice and if the airlines knew more about head lice in general. If Travis’s wife knew about super lice, she would have known that over-the-counter treatments are not effective. This is an example of way head lice education is so important to us.
However, this might be enough incentive to bring your child to us for a head check before hopping on a plane. Check out the video below to watch the story.