School Lice Policies Scare Parents, Not Nurses

School Lice Policies Scare Parents, Not Nurses

Changing lice policies at schools can frighten parents that still believe myths about head lice. In central Washington, a school district that now allows children with lice to stay in school has had to educate parents about the way lice spread.

One parent told KEPR TV in Tri-Cities, Wash, “Saying, ‘oh, it’s okay for your kid to stay in school to spread it on to other kids,’ that’s not right. That’s not right at all.”

“They can stay in school all day, which means it goes from child to child to child to child,” the parent said. “It’s uncomfortable for them because their head itches, and it becomes expensive for the parent because they have to buy the treatment kits.”

“We don’t exclude kids with head lice,” school nurse Cheryl Ricketts told the station. “That’s not always a popular opinion for others, but in actuality, head lice aren’t a medical condition, it’s a nuisance.”

“There’s a fear that ‘I’m going to get head lice from the kids sitting next to me,’” Ricketts said. “That just really does not happen.”

“They don’t want to go anywhere,” Ricketts said. “They don’t jump, they don’t fly, and it really takes a lot for lice to go from one head to the other.”

Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that, “Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.” They can’t move from head to head any other way. “Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly.”

Parents get upset about head lice because of the stigma associated with the condition. People tend to equate head lice with poor hygiene, though that connection was debunked decades ago. “Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice,” the CDC says.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses recommend that children be allowed to remain in school while being treated for head lice. Children need to be educated to avoid head-to-head contact and to keep hair short or pulled back.

The good news for parents confronted with head lice is that they are much easier to eradicate than many think. Lice Clinics of America has led a new generation of science and research to the battle against head lice. The company has introduced the AirAllé medical device, an FDA-cleared machine that has been clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits) in a single session.

The AirAllé device uses carefully controlled warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs—a novel approach that avoids the use of chemicals, including pesticides, found in common over-the-counter lice products.

Treatment using the AirAllé medical device is available at Lice Clinics of America urgent care clinics—there are more than 300 clinics in more than 30 countries, making Lice Clinics of America the largest network of professional lice treatment centers in the world. The company has treated more than 750,000 cases of head lice with a success rate better than 99 percent.

For more information about Lice Clinics of America, the AirAllé medical device, or to find a clinic, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.

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