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Local Schools Split on Lice Policies
Idaho News Channel 2
August 14, 2019

Students are headed back to school soon and one thing parents need to look out for, lice!

The itchy bug can easily spread. The Center for Disease Control and the National Association for School Nurses say students who are diagnosed with head lice, live or just eggs, do not need to be sent home.

One reason they advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued, is the burden of absences. Both on the students and parents who may have to take off work.

They say parent’s don’t need to panic, “They do not spread diseases. They don’t jump, they don’t fly. But they are a nuisance nobody wants to have head lice,” said Saleah Snelling, owner of Lice Clinic of America in Boise.

So, CBS 2 reached out to Treasure Valley school districts on their policies.

Mountain Home, Kuna, and Caldwell do send their students home for lice. But not all schools in those districts will send a letter notifying parents of other children in the class.

Nampa School District follows the CDC in their procedure. While they don’t send students home right away, they send a letter home notifying parents.

West Ada School District, as stated on their website, says students may attend school but treatment is recommended.

CBS 2 reached out to the Boise School District on their head lice policy, but they have yet to confirm.

Snelling says her clinic is seeing an increase in customers. But the increase doesn’t single out these policies.

“We have to take in account over the counter products are not effective. Prescriptions are not as effective as they used to be.” Snelling said.

While pulling a kid out of school can be a burden to parents, “The mom in me is like ahhh lice!” said Shenoah Clegg.

Clegg says she wouldn’t want her kids at risk, “because kids who have it, aren’t being sent home.”

Snelling works with local school districts on prevention tips to send home to parents. For example, weekly head checks. Not just a visual check but with a lice comb.

Experts say the earlier you catch it, the easier you can get rid of it and prevent spreading in your home.

If you have questions about how to detect or how to get treatment, click here or talk to your child’s school nurse.

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