back to school scrabble tiles

3 Keys to Back to School Head Lice Prevention

It’s back to school time, and that means kids across the country are going to get head lice. Lice removal clinics tend to be busiest in August and September. Before school starts is a great time to familiarize yourself with your school’s policy on head lice, and learn how to prevent head lice infestations. Here are three keys to head lice prevention as school starts back up.

Back to School Head lice prevention tips

  1. Educate yourself and your children about head lice.

There is an extensive list of myths about head lice out there, so make sure you know the facts. For example, lice can’t fly, hop or jump. They don’t care if hair is clean or dirty. Lice can’t live on pets—only the human scalp. Lice are spread most commonly by head-to-head contact, so ask your kids to avoid that type of contact.

  1. Do weekly checks.

Whether you check yourself or visit a lice removal clinic, the sooner you find signs of head lice, the easier it is to treat. Some signs to watch out for are an itchy scalp, small rash around the hairline/behind the ears and white or tan specks in the hair that differ from dandruff. Check your child’s hair once a week after it has been washed and is still damp. You may want to use a nit comb, bright light, and magnifying glass to help you spot the tiny nits. You can also come to a Fresh Heads location for thorough head lice check.

  1. Keep long hair tied up.

If your child has long hair, it’s helpful to keep it tied up. Styling long hair in a ponytail, braid or bun can help keep hair from coming into contact with head lice.

Head lice policies for Jacksonville area school districts

  1. Duval County Public Schools Head Lice Policy

Students with nits will be excluded from school until they are nit-free. All children excluded from school due to head lice and/or nits must be accompanied by a parent or an adult before they will be allowed to return to school or ride the school bus. It is suggested to seek professional help from a lice removal clinic right away to help your children return to school sooner.

  1. St. John’s County Public Schools Head Lice Policy

In St. John’s County Public Schools, all students infected with head lice will not be allowed back into school until all signs of lice and nits are gone. Readmission to school requires an examination by trained personnel, designated by the school principal, to determine if the student may return to school.

  1. Clay County Public Schools Head Lice Policy

Students need to be free of nits before re-entry into school after treatment. Parents of Elementary school-aged children are required to accompany their children to school on the first day of entry after treatment. All children should be back to school within two days if treated properly.

If your child comes home from school with a suspected case of head lice, visit Fresh Heads Lice Treatment Centers for a thorough head check. If we discover lice, we can provide you with several treatment options. For more information on how to prevent head lice, visit our blog.

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!