Experts: Kids With Lice Can Go To School
American Academy Of Pediatrics Releases New
POSTED: 3:49 p.m. EDT September 3, 2002
UPDATED: 5:35 p.m. EDT September 3, 2002
Contagious as viruses can be, it's wise for children to miss
school so they don't spread germs to their classmates.
But what if a child has head lice?
5's Liz Brunner said that the American Academy of Pediatrics
published new recommendations Tuesday that have some school nurses
more than a little concerned.
"If we didn't have a no-nit policy
here at school it would be a nightmare," Potter Road School
registered nurse Maureen Archambault said.
Archambault is well-acquainted with the problem of head lice.
Framingham schools have a strict no-nit policy -- that means if head
lice or the egg sacks called nits are found on a child's head, that
child is sent home.
"It becomes a real issue when you can't
get the kids' attention
when they're full of head lice," Archambault said. "It's constant
irritation to the scalp. They're always busy just scratching
A statement issued Tuesday by the American Academy of
Pediatrics recommends that school districts do away with no-nit
The report said that head lice is not a serious health hazard
and keeps children out of school for too long. The policy also
discourages schoolwide screening programs, stating that they don't
accurately predict which children will become infested.
Recommendations like these have Archambault bugged.
"We would have no control over the situation, and it would
just escalate into being a very, very stressful situation,"
It isn't clear what effect these recommendations are going to
have, as each school district develops its own guidelines.
In Framingham, the district has no intention of changing its
no-nit policies because they appear to have been the reason that the
number of head lice cases there has recently declined.
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