“Your child has lice.” These are words that every parent dreads. Just the thought of lice on anyone’s head makes me itch all over my body and want to take a match to my entire house, but when it’s my own kid, that’s a whole different (itchy) stress level. While there are precautions you can take to try and protect your little ones from the tiny bugs, they usually creep in anyway. From sleepovers to selfies to kids playing together, those little buggers can spread faster than a forest fire.
While new school policies have emerged in the last few years that suggest you should keep your child in school regardless of the stage of their lice to avoid missing important learning lessons (just, no), many parents keep their child home to avoid being that person who causes an outbreak. And if you do keep them home, one important question that you may have once things are under control is, “When can they go back to school?”
According to Lice Clinics of America, the answer is quite simple. When there are no more “live lice” still within the hair or scalp, you may send your child back to their classmates because the eggs (or nits) can’t be spread. School districts used to use the “no nit” policy, but many have moved past that because they now understand that only live lice can be spread from classmate to classmate.
While your child getting lice definitely isn’t a pleasant experience, it also isn’t the end of the world. The stigma of a child acquiring lice is slowly evaporating. According to the Lice Clinics of America, because schools have been dealing with this problem forever, parents shouldn’t at all feel embarrassed if their child is struck with the itchy infestation. Just be sure to follow the steps to get rid of it and keep your child home from school if there are live lice. Further, the Lice Clinics of America also recommend pulling your child’s hair back regularly and encouraging them not to share hats or clothing with their classmates.