School staff have been dealing with head lice for decades and most have a procedure for dealing with outbreaks. Find out what your school’s procedure is to be prepared when the time comes to use it.
And the time will likely come. With 6-12 million cases of head lice estimated each year in the U.S., odds are that your school staff will be dealing with the little bugs too. Understanding how you can work with school officials can make it easier.
If you find head lice on your child, PLEASE contact the school. You might be embarrassed but don’t be. Head lice have nothing to do with hygiene and cleanliness. And they don’t cause any health problems. The reality is that the faster the school and other parents are informed, the less severe the outbreak will be.
If you are contacted by the school about lice in your child’s class, or on your child’s head, don’t “shoot the messenger”, just check your child’s head. School staff are just doing their jobs and are trying to protect the children who have yet to contract lice.
Teachers, administrators and school staff have been dealing with lice throughout their careers. Most of the time they are happy to help you deal with the situation or at least point you in the right direction.
Many schools have a “no nit” policy in place—meaning a child must stay home from school until he or she is declared free of live lice and eggs (nits). Strict “no nits” policies could mean that even after you treat your child they would have to stay home for a week or more while you are combing out all the nits from their hair. This could also mean days missed at work and loss of income for a family.
We believe in an “honesty is the best policy” about head lice, especially in schools. Instead of blaming “this kid” or “that kid” and expect their parents to tell the school, do the right thing and let them know. And keep in mind when you get that call, remember that school staff, unfortunately, are often stuck in the middle and that’s not fair to them…they are only trying to help and do what’s best for the school community.
To learn more about how Lice Clinics of Canada can help, please visit www.liceclinicsontario.ca