New pointers say kids with head lice can keep in class

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say children should not miss school because of head lice.

One lice treatment expert says many schools have been following this policy for a number of years.

Because head lice pose no serious health risk to children, the new guidelines say they can remain at school while they are treated.

And since lice are widespread, the experts don’t want children to be stigmatized or marginalized because of it.

But parent Nick McKiver told us, “I don’t think it’s probably a good idea.”

And Raquel Miller said, “I just don’t think kids should go to school if they have lice.”

The new guidance caused quite a stir as parents considered the impact it would have on their families if a child with lice stayed in school.

Miller said, “It’s hard to get rid of lice. I remember when I was little I had lice and everyone in the house got them.”

Lice are transmitted through head-to-head contact. It is common in younger children, but high school students also get it.

Jess Evans, the director of the Lice Clinics of America’s Waukesha site, said, “We definitely hear a lot of frustration about this, mostly because if that student stays in school, there’s a pretty good chance that he’s going to stay spreading.” of lice in the classroom, at lunch, at recess. Such things.”

Evans said they saw a sharp rise in cases after schools returned to in-person learning. “We have now definitely seen an increase in cases where the school year appears to be in full swing and it appears that this is more of a return to the normal school year.”

But she’s also seen more schools not sending students home if they have lice.

Evans said, “It seems that more and more schools are tending to let children with an active case of head lice stay in school.”

She says lice have become more resistant to many chemical treatments in recent years. “We’ve seen more and more so-called super lice becoming resistant to these home remedies or over-the-counter treatments.”

Her clinic uses a chemical-free treatment that uses hot air to kill the lice and drain the eggs, which are then combed out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said one reason for the new guidance is how students with lice are treated.

Evans said, “Lice are a bit stigmatized, which is why some schools don’t want to single out a student.”

But some parents think that can be addressed.

Miller said, “I don’t think the teacher should tell the other parents which child has lice, I think it should be kept more confidential.”

McKiver said, “If you educate the kids about lice, I don’t think it should be a big deal or anyone should look down on the kids.”

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