Students Raising Hands in classroom

Head Lice — What Should the Schools Be Doing?

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of mothers everywhere like the threat of head lice infestation. Many mothers today remember being checked as children by their school nurses or camp directors, but not all of us struggled with head lice like our children do today. As the head lice epidemic becomes more prevalent, families look to answers, and too often, blame the schools.

School head lice policies are usually handed down from the county health department and vary wildly from county to county, state to state. In North East Florida, most counties still have the strict ‘no nit’ policy, although this policy is not the nationwide norm. Volusia County made headlines recently when they adopted one of the most lenient policies in the country, allowing children with active cases of head lice back into the classroom. The county’s position was simple: Head Lice are not a medical issue, but rather a nuisance. The Center For Disease Control endorses this mode of thinking, pointing out that head lice do not cause any known medical issue.

At Fresh Heads Lice Removal, we feel strongly that much of this burden should be transferred to the parents themselves. Checking your children for lice regularly is the best way to detect it early, treat it effectively, and slow down this epidemic. Further, parents need to be completely honest and forthcoming with their friends and family when they have had a lice problem. Too many families are buying into the stigma that comes with having head lice, and are too embarrassed to tell the people they have been around. We really need to bring head lice out of the proverbial closet! Honest communication is so important and is probably the single best way to stop the spread of lice.

School nurses will do their part, and they do a phenomenal job. But if more parents were taking responsibility for their children, checking their heads regularly at home, and alerting the school, friends, and family when lice are found, there would be much fewer lice in the world. It is really that simple!

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