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American Academy of Pediatrics: Don’t Send Home Kids with Head Lice to ‘Prevent Social Stigma and Psychological Stress’

American Academy of Pediatrics: Don’t Send Home Kids with Head Lice to ‘Prevent Social Stigma and Psychological Stress’

In the name of equity, all the kids now get head lice!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children who are discovered to have head lice should not be sent home from school.

Apparently, it is too stigmatizing.

The new approach is to help prevent social stigma and psychological stress.

The AAP says head lice is not a health hazard or a result of poor hygiene. They say lice can not jump or hop and can only crawl.

This means transmission has to happen through head-to-head contact.

Experts say all members of the household should be checked and a child should remain in class, but avoid close contact with others.

School officials should protect the child’s confidentiality.

Civil liberties are at issue.

…[C]hildren who are infected with lice should be allowed to return to school, the AAP says, even if they are not lice-free yet.

The AAP even suggests that zero-tolerance policies on lice infections “may violate a child’s or adolescent’s civil liberties.” The AAP says it discourages such policies and asks schools to address their legal counsels about them.

My son would routinely get sand in his hair in pre-school, which would routinely get called “lice eggs” by one of his teachers. I spent a bit of time shampooing his hair with “Nix.” He appears to be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted individual today.

Head lice do not cause disease and are spread chiefly by contact with the hair of an infested individual.

In the United States, infestation with head lice is most common among pre-school children attending child care, elementary schoolchildren, and the household members of infested children.

Although reliable data on how many people in the United States get head lice each year are not available, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.

Of course, people have opinions about this change in guidance.

In the name of equity, all the kids now get head lice!


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I’ll never understand the obsession with protection people’s feelings by hurting them

The AAP even suggests that zero-tolerance policies on lice infections “may violate a child’s or adolescent’s civil liberties.”

Now do one about the COVID restrictions.

If we’re headed back to the Middle Ages, why not add learning to live with perpetual lice infestations to the list?

Oh, how could this possibly go wrong?

Why should any child be sent home for sickness?

If my child has mumps, the school should never send him home because of it may cause others to tease my child.

Just let everyone get every illness!

Society giving parents more reasons to not send their kids to school.

“and a child should remain in class, but avoid close contact with others”

Good move. None of the other kids will notice that [Jimmy/Shaquandree/Pinyata/Damika] is being isolated.

“Ooh, they have cooties!”

    JohnSmith100 in reply to fscarn. | September 30, 2022 at 11:42 am

    When my children were young there wereperodic notices that someone had lice. Only once one of my children had lice. We would check them, wash their hiar with the appropiate shampoo, and send them to school. One of my daughters had perfect attendence, the other only 2 days missed k-12. If school was open, they were going to be there. I place education as a top priority. And I continiously was teaching when they were not in school. I was constantly on top of rather they were handing their wook in. It was a yes sir, no excuse sir situation for them. The one who gave me the most problems now has a PhD.

    Thye never were ashamed over lice, in fact they were in different.

      MrPeabody in reply to JohnSmith100. | September 30, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      The parents of the children who have lice–have lice themselves. That’s where they got it. It’s not going to go away.

        Gosport in reply to MrPeabody. | October 1, 2022 at 3:34 am

        Like it or not, head lice on kids is a strong indicator of an unhealthy home environment and deserves prompt investigation and action.

        Once upon a time children with head lice weren’t sent home from school, they were taken there by the health authorities, who would then inspect the home and its occupants, provide treatment to kill the lice, and educate on how to prevent them in the future.

        Making a public circus out of it isn’t required and would certainly be stigmatizing, but no more so than the various humiliations imposed during the Covid fiasco.

    Dathurtz in reply to fscarn. | September 30, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    My exact thoughts. How, exactly, do you plan to make this small child avoid close contact with their peers in a way that won’t lead to the other children realizing this kid is functionally ostracized?

    Is it more stigmatizing to take a day and fix the problem or to be visibly isolated from their peers?

We’re in coronavirus season. Don’t forget your masks.

What rules will be put in place to protect the teachers? Lice are no respecter of persons. Will remote learning be instituted again at the request of teacher’s unions?

Who’s ever great idea this is has obviously never dealt with a stubborn case of lice themselves.

    TheOldZombie in reply to B Buchanan. | September 30, 2022 at 11:12 am

    Probably will give the excuse that since the teachers are taller the lice can’t reach them. LOL

    Just like the advice that you can sit at a restaurant eating without a mask but walking to the table you need a mask as the virus can’t change altitude. LOL

At this rate it won’t be long before merkins are back in style.

    henrybowman in reply to Paul. | September 30, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    Hey, keep in mind we haven’t heard from the CDC yet.
    They will surely mandate that teeny, tiny masks be installed on the lice.

“The AAP says head lice is not a health hazard or a result of poor hygiene. They say lice can not jump or hop and can only crawl.”

Of course it’s poor hygiene at some point, and aggressive good hygiene can fix it. This statement is an outright lie. Lice are also a transmissible health hazard, especially if it gets out of hand. They are also readily controlled. These “experts” need to consult somebody with experience.

“This means transmission has to happen through head-to-head contact.”

This is another outright lie. My kids’ elementary school had an outbreak of head lice. It was very tough to get rid of it among the pre-k kids. Finally, they figured out that the carpet in the library had to be cleaned. That put an end to the re-infections.

“Experts say all members of the household should be checked and a child should remain in class, but avoid close contact with others.”

Parents who act quickly do not have to be checked by anybody else. Head lice are easy enough to prevent, especially for people who wash their hair daily. There is no such thing as elementary school children avoiding close enough contact to pass on lice, particularly when children are wearing coats, hats and scarves.

“School officials should protect the child’s confidentiality.”

I’ll go along with this one, provided always the child is known to have responsible parents. Some people are stupid or neglectful, evasive, and liars, in the bargain. If so, the school already knows who they are.

This “Guidance” reminds me of the Common Core Math: made up by people lacking knowledge of the subject matter, and uninterested in their basic job function.

Getting rid of lice is simple, but rigorous.

A child found to have head lice should be sent home immediately, during the day, for a shampoo and combing. Leaving them in class expedites transmission of lice. Inexperienced parents will have to be told what to do: shampoo the kid’s head, and then comb for lice eggs. Some doctors and some hair salons will do this for a fee, but the package instructions are clear enough for first-timers. The electrified combs are especially effective, and can be made to be fun. The child should be allowed back in school the next day, provided always the child has been shampooed and combed. This is readily doable in an afternoon.

I used lice shampoo for them, and my regular shampoo for myself because I had no symptoms. I checked my own (long) hair with a comb, but found nothing. The electrified comb makes a sound when it zaps the eggs or nits.

If this is a fresh infection, the children’s bedding needs to be washed and dried thoroughly before immediate re-use. Some people put the bedding in a plastic bag for two weeks after washing. I did not, nor did I have the carpet cleaned.

I had two kids with lice.

After the first medicated shampoo, the kids’ hair needs to be checked with the lice comb every day. Again, the electric combs also kill eggs and nits. Short hair makes it a simpler, quicker job, but long hair is no real deterrent.

Lice operate on a schedule, and assuming no recurrent infection, a follow-up shampoo with the lice medication should be done in a week, and then the following week. My kids ordinarily washed their hair every day, so nothing changed except the use of the lice shampoo two more times, plus daily combings. After the first washing of the bedding, I simply followed the regular weekly schedule, making sure the bedding was well-dried.

Lice are normally a simple nuisance that can be treated by early application of old, cheap remedies, much like colds, flu, and COVID-19.

I am sick of seeing bad health advice from public officials.

    Melinda in reply to Valerie. | September 30, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    When I was in first grade (in 1954) one of my classmates gave several of us lice–not once, but twice. The infected girl’s family was very poor and lived in a shack with no utilities. I did not have direct contact with the girl. The lice were transmitted from one garment to another in the coat room of our two-room schoolhouse. After the second outbreak the county health department nurse shaved the head of each child in the infected girl’s family and she was no longer allowed to leave her coat in the coat room. No one gave a rat’s about “feelings” in those days.

    Back then we had the nasty medicinal shampoo. I had long white blond hair and my mother spent hours combing it with a fine tooth comb to destroy lice nits and eggs. It hurt, especially after washing my hair with the medicinal shampoo that irritated my scalp. Mom cried along with me.

    B Buchanan in reply to Valerie. | September 30, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    When I was young I remember watching an adult lift the long dark hair of a student and seeing the nits as numerous as stars in the sky. I can’t imagine the discomfort of such a large infestation. I am grateful the student was sent home!

    I had a son who had a stubborn bout with lice that didn’t end until we shaved his head. He was humiliated (he was 12) but his hair was so fine the combs available at the time were missing nits. No one else in the family caught lice, but it was five miserable weeks of constant washing and cleaning for me. A nightmare. The electric comb you describe Valerie would have been so helpful.

    When my kids were older the local schools dealt with a resistant strain of lice. It made the news because only prescription-strength shampoo killed the lice, over-the-counter ones were useless. People had to either see doctors or go to clinics or the ER for treatment. I remember thinking at the time how awful it would be if that strain became dominant. It didn’t, fortunately.

    When some of my grandchildren were young the boys brought lice home. They were treated but gave it to their mother and sister. Their sister had (still has) waist-long, thick and beautiful hair – and it is always more difficult to effectively treat long hair. Parents both worked so grandma had the 5 hours of time to painstakingly section and comb through granddaughter’s hair. It worked.

    Having lice in the home is awful. There are so many ways this policy is bad.

Antifundamentalist | September 30, 2022 at 11:46 am

Health and Safety. More reasons to end the public school system.

This incessant push to avoid ‘hurting feelings’ is idiotic. It’s not helping anyone, and it IS hurting a lot of people in the process. Can’t these insipid progs at least have some consistency in their idiocy? Public shaming is OK for wrong-think but not if you have parasites?

I mean really? Somebody is going to get their feelings hurt that they came down with an easily transmissible parasite? So what? Go wash your hair, wash your clothes and bedding, comb your hair, etc. Fix it and move on, FFS.

On a related note, my Mom used to love to tell stories about how mortified she was on a few occasions when she took me to get my hair cut and the barber would find ticks on my head. When I was a kid you just couldn’t keep me out of the woods and the creek behind our house.

I find the obsession with preventing “social stigma” rather odd. Social stigma, and shame generally, serve a valuable purpose, that being to teach good behavior and preventing the ill effects of bad behavior.

The cognitive dissonance is deafening. Kids with even a tiny chance of catching and having complications from a flu variant must be all kept home, masked, and isolated from all humanity, as well as injected with an experimental drug that may possibly (depending on where you read) have more serious medical consequences than catching it (Oh, and won’t stop the kid from catching it, just make the minor symptoms more minor) But kids with a known parasite that is prevented by simple hygiene and known medical treatments, they must be allowed to mingle with their peers and spread it so their delicate mental state isn’t threatened.

We had *fleas* in the house one year. The resulting cleansing and extermination process lasted a month. It was very educational. Flea traps are awesome.

This from the people that had school children arrested or suspended for not wearing or improperly wearing a useless mask.

Reason number 124,573 why the medical community are idiotic fascists.

Where were the social stigma crusaders when masks were the issue?

Hold me closer, tiny Danzig
You count your head lice on the highway….