OK to go to school with lice?

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Johan Lenell via 123RF) (Source: Johan Lenell via 123RF)
(Source: Brian Eichhorn via 123RF) (Source: Brian Eichhorn via 123RF)

Just the thought of head lice may leave many people scratching their heads. Now new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) may have some parents scratching their heads in disbelief.

Experts now say kids do not need to stay home if they have head lice.

That advice is a far cry from what most parents have done for years, and that is to keep their children home if they have lice.

The AAP says while head lice is a nuisance, it's not a serious disease or a sign of poor hygiene. It doesn't cause a health hazard.

"No healthy child should be excluded from school or allowed to miss school time because of head lice or nits," according to a piece appearing in the April 27 issue of "Pediatrics." "Pediatricians may educate school communities that no-nit policies for return to school should be abandoned."

The new report also claims lice only spreads from head to head contact and in most cases, lice aren't even contracted at school.

The AAP is encouraging pediatricians to educate schools and communities. The member doctors believe there's no need to have policies that require kids to stay home if they have lice or nits, which are eggs.

The AAP recommends using over-the-counter medications containing 1 percent Permethrin to kill lice.

Bottom line: Head lice may be a pain to deal with and to get rid of, but they don't cause any harm. Hence, it's OK for kids to go to school.

  • Should kids with head lice go to school and be permitted to take part in school activities?

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