Important Lice Facts you should know!
At one time or another, we may all have to deal with head lice.
It is how we deal with it, that separates us!
•Itching (only in approximately 50% of people)
•Small tear dropped eggs that vary in color, attached to hair shafts
•Rash at the nape of the neck
•Bags under the eyes
School Policy Definitions
A "No Nit" policy requires that students be sent home from school as soon as nits are discovered. The American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that the "No Nit" policies should be discontinued. These organizations recommend discontinuation because:
•Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are unlikely to be transferred to other people.
•The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
•Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by non-medical personnel.
Many schools have discarded their "No Nit" policy because lice are not inherently dangerous and thus, in their opinion, do not warrant children missing school. Attendance is crucial to students' earning higher grades and to schools receiving federal and state funding.
Lice Perspectives recommends a modified "No Nit" policy, with children being sent home for treatment at the end of the day rather than immediately (unless lice are discovered school wide). as the best way to reduce attendance/embarrassment issues and to prevent the spreading of lice.
No Live Lice
With a "No Live Lice" policy, students found to have live head lice are excluded from school and not allowed to return until they are lice-free. Students are re-examined in 14 days to confirm that they have remained lice-free. Students with nits and no evidence of live head lice are not excluded from school.
According to the endorsers (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association and the National Association of School Nurses) of the "No Live Lice" policy, studies have shown that school-wide screenings for nits are time consuming, costly and ineffective.
Lice Perspectives disagrees. School-wide screenings, if done by us, are efficient, inexpensive and effective. We believe that the "No Live Lice" policy is dangerous because active cases of lice will be missed as newly hatched lice are to small to be seen on a quick head check.
Live And Let Live
A "Live and Let Live" policy does not send a child home from school for lice or nits. If a child has lice in her/his hair, the nurse contacts parents but sends the child back to the classroom for the rest of the day. Parents are expected to treat the lice, but no one enforces this expectation. No classes or groups are screened for bugs.
•Having head lice is not a serious medical condition unless it is not taken care of properly.
•Over-the-counter lice treatment shampoo, such as Rid or Nix, can be more serious than head lice because they contain Pesticides.
•Irrational reactions to head lice can lead to fumigating classrooms, schools, buses, etc. This is toxic, expensive and unnecessary.
•Much information about head lice is based on old, unproven information.
•Direct physical head-to-head contact is the usual method of transmission.
•Transmission via clothing, hats, furniture, carpets, school bus seats and other objects is not likely because lice die within 24 hours and start slowing down within 6 hours of leaving the head.
•There is no relationship between personal cleanliness and transmission.
•It is unlikely that a nit (egg) on a stray hair shaft will hatch because it needs the human head to stay warm.
•Stray lice that fall off a head are probably either injured or dying and incapable of causing a new infestation.
•It is not possible to tell whether treatment has been successful by the appearance of the eggs.
•Although schools, camps and day care centers are often blamed for head lice outbreaks, it is the family unit that maintains cases leading to outbreaks in these institutions. That is why it is important to communicate to friends that your family has head lice - to stop the vicious cycle of giving and getting head lice. Have all family members checked and if necessary, treat.
•There is NO such thing as the "Super Lice". This is just a term for lice that have become genetically resistant to over-the-counter and prescription lice treatment products.
•Lice leave a scent that actually "calls" to other lice, telling them that a person is a good food source.
•Home treatments, if done improperly or carelessly, can cause SEVERE reactions and death.
•Head lice can live in eye lashes, eye brows and beards.
•Head lice can cause lethargy or feeling "lousy".
•Head lice CANNOT jump or fly. They can only crawl or run from one host to another.
•Lice do not spread any known disease, nor are they impacted by dirt or lack of.
•While head lice are not known to carry disease, secondary dangers include: infection, severe burns, allergic reactions and even death.
•Lice can breed on clean or dirty hair, in a clean or dirty home.
•You cannot get lice from your cat or dog or vice versa, lice only live on humans.
•Many products that are over-the-counter are NOT approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and others may contain ingredients that are not recommended for use on young children or pregnant women. No product is 100% effective.
•Head lice are immune to almost every chemical, including chlorine. They are extremely heart insects with a tough exoskeleton and nothing penetrates the shell of the nits so these lice eggs are unaffected by chlorine.
•Using home remedies to get rid of lice (oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, etc.) not only do not work, they are messy, smelly and uncomfortable. Also, pose several safety and health hazards to children. Mayonnaise could cause salmonella poisoning.
•More often found on girls than on boys, lice camouflage themselves, making removal an overwhelming task.
•Hairspray and gels do not prevent lice.