NPA Press Release
Pediculosis Association Says
"Keep Your Wits Not Your Nits"™
Rather than acknowledge the
overwhelming percentage of schools supporting no nit policies, the
National Association of School Nurses is encouraging its members to
remove no nit policies and is reasserting its opposition to them at
a session on head lice at their national conference in July 2004.
13, 2004 -- According to the National Association of School
Nurses (NASN), "Over 90% of schools in the U.S. have adopted
no nit policies despite NASN’s and the American Academy of
Pediatrics' recommendation that this may not be necessary."
A no nit policy is an administrative standard to assure
children are in the classroom lice and nit free.
Those who support a no nit policy see it as a pro-active
approach to protect children from unnecessary exposure to head
lice and potentially harmful head lice treatments.
The National Pediculosis Association's (NPA) No Nit Policy
provides education in advance of outbreaks, promotes routine
screening and early detection and enables families to send
their children to school lice and nit free avoiding any need
The NPA has supported the no nit philosophy since the agency
was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1983. The
NPA's No Nit Policy is available
Those who object say that dismissal for head lice is
unwarranted and that no nit policies interfere with education.
In other words, they believe children should be allowed to
remain in school with lice and nits -- a position unacceptable
to today's parents and many school nurses.
The NASN and the American Academy of Pediatrics' position
against no nit policies evolved from the "Guidelines for the
treatment of resistant pediculosis" printed as a
paid-to-publish supplement in the August 2000 issue of
(See one school nurse's
reaction to the Guidelines)
Parents who are not informed predictably turn to prescription
pesticides or to over the counter products to which the lice
have been proven resistant. The NPA says it is this reliance
on pesticides that needlessly risks children's health, keeps
them infested and missing school.
Rather than acknowledge the overwhelming percentage of schools
supporting no nit policies, the National Association of School
Nurses is reasserting its opposition by offering a session at
their national conference in July 2004 with “… focus on the
role of the school nurse in advocating for appropriate
treatment and removal of no nit policies in school districts.”
The session is sponsored by the pharmaceutical company that
sells the pesticide Malathion in a lotion marketed as a
treatment for children with head lice.
Head lice are a community problem that require community
cooperation. The NPA says its No Nit Policy is consistent with
all that is known about controlling communicable diseases and
the importance of taking every available opportunity to
protect children from unnecessary exposure to pesticides.
Head lice are endemic in America and a part of raising
children today. The National Pediculosis Association
encourages parents and school nurses to visit
HeadLice.Org where they will
find helpful resources and free downloads to share with others
in their community.
Simply stated, NPA says, "Keep Your Wits Not Your Nits!"™
You can send
this head lice awareness message and
many others from our
Press Releases From The NPA