Thursday, March 27, 2008

Head Lice and the No Nit School Policy

There are many public schools that have very strict “no nit” policies when it comes to dealing with head lice. Though it may seem extremely unfair that your child is sent home a second time, even after you have treated them for head lice, the policy is aimed an eliminated the spreading of lice to other children.Many school officials, including school nurses may lack the expertise necessary to determine if nits are active or inactive, therefore if they spot nits in a child’s hair they send them home until all the nits have been removed. This is why it is so important that parents use meticulous care during the nit removal phase after head lice treatment.There is some controversy over the “no nit policy” implemented at schools. Excluding children based on nits in the hair that may not even be a live infestation can actually have lasting emotional problems for that child. On the other hand, it is reassuring for the parents of other children, that a child that is infested with head lice won’t be allowed back in school to spread it to others. Despite the fact that there is some opposition to the “no nit school policies” there are some advantages to it.For communities to actively control head lice infestations, there has to be a universal protocol when dealing with it. This is one way to help prevent head lice from becoming epidemic in school or daycare settings. With the “no nit “ head lice policies, those who are responsible for checking to ensure a child is free from head lice will not have to guess if the nits represent a new infestation, they simply don’t allow the child back in schoolThough it is true that a child who is isolated due to a head lice infestation may have some emotional problems due to the isolation, the problems that may be posed because of ridicule by classmates and friends could be much worse.All this is not to mention that most healthcare specialists believe that the number one cause of a re-infestation is failure to remove nits from the hair. Nit removal is very inconvenient, but necessary. Not only does combing the hair with a nit removal comb ensure that head lice and their eggs are removed, failure to do this can result in having to repeat the treatment several times, multiplying the inconvenience of treating head lice.

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