The American Academy of Pediatrics the first update in recommendations for the treatment of head lice since 2002. The new report is intended to alert the public to the various ways to solve lice infestations in schools, and how lice is becoming resistant to certain methods of treatment.
Says an article on ABC News:
Lice infestation is not life threatening, but the stigma of lice has led parents to attempt dangerous methods of treatment ranging from acetone, bleach and WD-40 to loosen eggs from the hair, to dousing their children’s scalps with gasoline. When all else fails, parents have been known to resort to shaving their children’s heads — an effective option for getting rid of lice and their eggs, but traumatic nonetheless.
Infestation’s comparatively non-serious nature may be partly to blame for the relative lack of reliable statistics on the extent of the problem. An oft-quoted 1997 report estimated that between 6 and 12 million infestations occur each year, but experts caution the public not to place too much stock in this ballpark range.
“Many doctors would say [lice infestations in schools are] no problem, since lice usually don’t cause any medical problems — just itching,” said Dr. Barbara Frankowski, professor of pediatrics at the University of Vermont in Burlington and one of the authors of the report. “Since it is not reported to health departments, the actual extent of the ‘problem’ is just a guess.”
…The recommendations also strengthen the AAP’s stance against school screenings for lice, stating as its first key point, “No healthy child should be excluded from or allowed to miss school time because of head lice. No-nit policies for return to school should be abandoned.”
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