Pediatric Officials Say Students With Head Lice Should Stay In Class

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DANVERS, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A case of head lice may not constitute a trip home from class in the future. A new article out of the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the enforcement of policies that would cause a child to miss or be excluded from school because of head lice.

Officials go on to say that current regulations on head lice aren't cost-effective and bring about a stigma for children suspected to have an infestation.

WBZ's James Rojas spoke to Kristen Hollingsworth of Lice Care Associates in Danvers, who says she's in favor of the new relaxed guidelines.

"Of course, people hit the 'panic' button and they don't want to be around their friends— and that's something we want to discourage. It's opportunity for us to educate parents on the actual risks associated with lice, which really it's not a health risk, it's more of a nuisance," Hollingsworth said.

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According to the Center for Disease Control, head lice is most frequently spread through hair-to-hair contact, much less so via hats or other apparel. The AAP recommends treatments that are safe and age-appropriate, and for parents to call their pediatrician to get a proper diagnosis and use of products.

"We don't want kids missing school, it's not health risk to have lice. But people do need to be made more aware, and that's where notifications to parents and maybe a little bit better of a screening protocol within the school would need to be created to find that balance," Hollingsworth said.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports

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