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Don't blame the school

Don’t blame the school!

Head lice are a nuisance for parents. Often parents panic, become frustrated when treating head lice multiple times and blame the school. In addition to being icky, treatment can be difficult, time consuming and tedious. Parents have been known to be very vocal about head lice out breaks.

Head Lice and School Policies

In the Kansas City area, most schools allow kids to stay in school with head lice or nits in the hair. While it seems practical for kids to be excluded from school with any signs of head lice to keep the bugs from spreading among the kids, it can do more harm than good. In the United States, children miss 12–24 million school days annually due to head lice and on average parents lose $2,700 in lost wages, childcare costs, and expenses for treatment. Schools also miss out on funding because students aren’t in school. Most importantly, head lice and no-nit policies create a stigma that can follow kids even after their head lice is gone.

Most schools in Kansas City, follow common protocols recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. At school, the student is sent to the nurse to verify they have head lice. The parents are then notified and the child must be treated before returning to school. Keeping a child out of school for head lice doesn’t really do any good. Most kids with head lice have it a couple weeks before symptoms like itching appears, so they have been in the class room with these kids all along. Sending a child home with head lice does not actually eliminate the lice from the school or classroom. There is evidence that at any given time 1 to 10 percent of students in elementary school will have head lice. Not to mention parents, siblings and any close contacts outside of school might have head lice too. So, in fact, there is never a lice free zone.

Check often and Treat Early

The best way to avoid a hassle with head lice is to check often and treat early. Heartland Healthy Head recommends checking once a week for head lice. The earlier you find lice the easier it is to treat. Another way to avoid head lice is to keep hair tied back to lessens the possibility of head to head contact with others who may have lice.

Several treatment options are available for head lice including over the counter, prescriptions and home remedies. Heartland Healthy Heads is Kansas City’s exclusive provider of the Airalle’ treatment. Airalle’ is a FDA cleared medical device that works to dehydrate lice and eggs. Heartland Healthy Heads is happy to answer any questions regarding head lice and your school’s policy regarding head lice. Please call our 24-hour lice line at 913-730-6487. And we recommend you be nice about lice, anyone can get it.

School Lice Policy?

Know your school lice policy? When you get the head lice call from school, don’t be angry at your school or school nurse, be an advocate for your family! According to the National Association of School Nurses, children with head lice should not be barred from school, rather they should be “discouraged from close direct head contact with others.” The organization’s position statement, which was reiterated and revised in 2011, concludes: “The school nurse is in a position to take the lead in eliminating school exclusion policies and, instead, incorporate evidence-based practices that reduce the stigma associated with head lice, and work to increase classroom time with an emphasis on keeping students in school.” The American Academy of Pediatrics adopts a similar stance and recommends a prompt and safe treatment of head lice with as little interruption to a child’s daily routine as possible.

When head lice is going around, tell others quickly and talk about the best way to get everyone checked, treated and past head lice. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t get mad when other parents let you know head lice is going around. Yes, head lice can travel from head to head at school, but also moves around from head to head at outside school activities (slumber parties and sports activities or family gatherings).

Here at Heartland Healthy Heads, we hear the story all too often from frustrated parents who have tried numerous products, spent hours combing out nits and hundreds of dollars and tears wasted trying to get rid of head lice, only to blame the school for failed head lice treatments. The fact remains if head lice is not cleared from your social circles or if you do not get an effective treatment head lice will continue to linger around. The best way to stay lice free is to check often, treat early and tell others. Don’t waste time being angry at your school. Just take action: know the facts, get an effective treatment and tell all your close contacts. The stigma associated with head lice is powerful and can only be overcome by knowing the facts about head lice. Heartland Healthy Heads is a full service head lice treatment facility. We provide safe and non-toxic treatment options. In addition, we love to educate the community about head lice. If you need further information about head lice, call the experts at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center at 913-730-6487 or visit our website: www.heartlandhealthyheads.com.