Updated on May 15, 2018
Midland and Odessa Schools follow the recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, the National Association School of Nurses and Department of State Health Services: children with nits may remain in school. Students with live bugs and nits are expected to be treated at home and may then return to school. This policy was adopted in 2013.
Schools across the state deal with head lice on a case by case basis, “because the Texas Department of Health Services says lice is not considered a health threat. The wingless tiny insects are contagious and sometimes tough to get rid of creating a nightmare and headache for many parents. But other than causing your scalp to itch and be irritated, they aren't dangerous nor can they spread diseases, which is why the Texas Department of Health Services had school districts stop sending kids home with lice.”
‘They were concerned about children being called out, or ostracized, sort of made fun of for having head lice and they said the benefit of doing mass classroom checks was not warranted,’ said Imo Jean Douglas, the Health Services Supervisor for Midland. Douglas says the number of cases with lice has actually dropped since this new rule was implemented.
Out of a total of 24,000 students 40 kids have had lice so far this year, and during this time last year they had 72. ECISD's health supervisor says their number of cases haven't gone up either.
Whenever a student is believed to have lice they are given a private exam by the school nurse and a letter is sent home to their parent only with written information explaining how to get rid of the bugs.” Texas Lice Policies in the News.
As with many school districts, Midland and Odessa’s more lenient lice policy has led to a backlash among some parents. These parents fear that sending children with active cases to school increases the risk that other students will become infested. The districts maintain that since nits are not contagious, there is no increased risk and that too many children were missing school for something that is not considered a health threat.
As with any case of head lice, if you find lice in your family, it is best to bring in professional help. LiceDoctors has treated over 400,000 cases of lice and no matter what the school policy is, your child will be admitted to school the day after treatment. Give us a call today in the Midland and Odessa areas at 432-219-2012 and we will treat you in the privacy of your home at your convenience.