Some Schools Are Adopting Lenient Lice Policies. Cue the Head Scratching.
Lice is a terrifying word for most moms. Okay, it's not measles or whooping cough but it's so high stress. These are the three stages of finding out your kid has lice.
1. Shame (even though it has nothing to do with cleanliness).
2. Outrage (because you now have to comb through hair for hours, spend money on some fancy lice lady, vacuum your entire home, put your stuffed toys into plastic bags and on and on).
3. Determination (to never let this happen again).
Well, it just might. Because some schools are letting lice infected kids return to school even if they are not completely bug free. These schools are dropping their no-nit policies - meaning kids can come back even if the lice has been treated but the tiny eggs (nits) are not completely gone. And some schools are no longer sending a note home when someone in the class has lice.
Why the lax attitude? The idea is to keep kids from missing school and protect children's privacy.
Okay, I get it. An anonymous letter goes home and by dinnertime everyone knows it's Sara that has lice. But those letters remind parents to be extra vigilant. The minute I see a letter like that, I put my girls' hair in buns, spray with a natural lice repellant like Boo Leave in Conditioner and pray for the best.
But it's probably too late anyway. The reality is that by the time a child is diagnosed with lice, he or she has had it for 3 weeks to 2 months. So all the classmates have been exposed before a note ever goes home.
Despite the parental agony of dealing with lice, health experts say lice don't spread disease and therefore it is not a health hazard.
I beg to differ. It's a hazard to my mental health. Yuck.
Even if schools are getting a little more laid back about lice, parents don't have to. It's recommended that you check your kids' heads for lice once a week. Remind your children to never share hair accessories or hats. Because lice don't jump or fly. They crawl.
By the way, how itchy do you feel right now?