What The CDC Says About Head Lice


Head lice are a bit of a mystery to many parents. How does it happen? Where do they come from? How do you treat them? Should I quarantine my child? The panic and questions arise upon finding head lice in your child’s hair. That’s never a fun day. You may be surprised by what the CDC has to say about kids with lice. They don’t consider head lice a big enough threat to cause kids to miss school. And they definitely don’t think it’s necessary to quarantine your child or take drastic measures to treat lice such as shaving their head or pouring gasoline on them. Lice are very common, they happen to all kinds of children and they don’t carry diseases. They are a nuisance but can be taken care of at our clinic with one treatment.

Here’s what the CDC says:

“Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.

Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued.” “No-nit” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons:

  • Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as ‘casings’.
  • Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully 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 nonmedical personnel.

Don’t let lice ruin your lice or make you panic too much. If you need to know for sure if your child has lice, bring them into tour clinic. We’ll give them a head check and treat them if necessary.

Leave a Comment: