American Academy of Pediatrics: Children with head lice should stay in school

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Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:49 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidance saying that children shouldn’t miss school due to head lice.

The AAP, updating guidance on diagnosing and treating head lice for the first time in seven years, noted that “infections are neither a health hazard nor sign of poor hygiene but can result in significant stigma and psychological stress.”

The organization cited a clinical report that describes new medications for treatment, provides an algorithm for managing head lice and offers clarity on diagnosis and treatment. A report posted by the AAP on the updated guidance included the following quote from the report’s lead author, Dr. Dawn Nolt.

“Head lice are an unpleasant part of the human experience, but they can be successfully managed and are no reason for a child to miss school.”

The AAP’s report says head lice screening programs in schools haven’t proven to have a significant impact over time, aren’t cost-effective and could stigmatize children suspected of having head lice.

“Instead, the AAP suggests that schools offer educational programs for families to help increase understanding and management of head lice in the community,” the organization said.