Lice are every parent's nightmare, and the nightmare may soon get harder to wake up from. A new set of guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that students with lice, regardless of the stage, should be kept in school to avoid missing out on valuable learning time. The report says, "Pediatricians are encouraged to educate schools and communities that no-nit policies are unjust and should be abandoned. Children can finish the school day, be treated, and return to school."
Lice don't actually harbor disease, but that doesn't change the fact that little bugs crawling around in a child's hair are pretty gross. A POPSUGAR poll from last year posed the question, "Should Children Be Able to Attend School While Being Treated For Lice?," and a whopping 70 percent of readers agreed that children should stay home from school until all signs of the pesky bugs are gone.
Dr. Natalie Azar, NBC News Medical Contributor, said on Today, "Most of the transmission occurs outside of the school." She added, "It's not that it can't happen in school, it's just less likely than most of us think."
However, her statement leaves something to be desired. It seems possible that the reason transmission is occurring more outside of school is because current school policies state that children with lice should be sent home right away. If schools begin to adopt this new policy of letting children stay in school with nits wreaking havoc in their hair, it seems likely that the odds of it spreading to other children in the classroom will rise — and the chances of it spreading at home will remain until the lice are completely gone.
We're not so sure that this new policy is really worth it. If your kid is healthy minus the lice, then maybe he can do some schoolwork at home to avoid falling behind and passing along the little bugs to all of his friends. What do you think?