Lice News - Change In Guidelines For Absences From School For Head Lice

by Taylor
(Household Management 101)

The video below touches on some important lice news, which is the change in the American Association of Pediatrics' guidelines for absences from school for head lice.

This clip is from ABC's Good Morning America show, and mentions the change in the guidelines, and also has some other useful information about head lice.

The video is best, in my opinion, for just getting rid of the stigma that surrounds children who get lice, because there is an assumption that this is a hygiene issue, which it really is not.

That in itself is some head lice news to some people.

The clip doesn't get into very good detail about the new guidelines however, so I have done some more investigation on my own. Apparently, once you have no active lice the recommendation is that children can go back to school. Having nits in your child's hair is alright. This is a change from the previous "no nits policy" that many schools once had, and which could keep kids out of school for weeks at a time.

Obviously, you want to remove those nits at some point, but you don't have to keep your child out of school until all the nits are removed, just when there are active, moving lice. That way you can go to work, your child to school, and you can nit pick in the evenings (how fun!).

Therefore, there is one glaring incorrect piece of information in this clip below, which I feel compelled to correct.
The response to a question about when lice are contagious is that they are contagious while they are nits.

That is incorrect, and also just doesn't make any sense. When a louse is in its nit stage of life it is an egg, which is glued to the hair shaft and cannot move. Therefore, by definition, it cannot be infectious then.

Instead, look at this chart from the CDC as part of the head lice information page of this head lice treatment series (at the bottom of the page) which clearly shows that the lice are infectious once they reach maturity, and are moving around, not earlier in their life cycle.

With that being said, here is the clip which contains some of this head lice news. The clip also shows how to look for lice in your child's hair by sectioning it off, so you can see both the roots of the hair and the scalp, which I think is also useful.

head lice treatment
This post is part of my series on Head Lice Treatment. Start at the beginning of the series, and read it all if you need instructions on this right now. Don't panic -- learn the facts before you act!

Don't forget that you can share your stories and experiences about lice treatment here.

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