CDC says schools should change their lice policies

FRESNO, Calif.

On it's website, the CDC says while head lice can be a nuisance - the itty bitty bugs have not been shown to spread disease. Therefore students diagnosed with live head lice don't need to be sent home early from school. The agency insists the burden of unnecessary absences far outweighs the risks associated with lice.

A new recommendation on how schools should react to students with head lice - sets clear standards on what to do - so no one is left scratching their heads.

John Trutna: "I think it's good, in a matter of speaking, because I think first and foremost, you want the kids in school as much as possible.

According to the CDC -- kids with live lice should not be pulled from class -- because the risks are small and the infestation has likely already happened.

Kristy Frazier: "If scientifically they've proven it's there no matter what, I don't see why the kid couldn't stay in school."

Instead - the agency recommends - kids go home at the end of the day, get treated and then return to class after treatment has begun.

The new changes would do away with the traditional "no-nit" policies schools currently have in place.

Here's why:

The CDC says...

Nits are cemented to hair shafts and rarely transfer.

Nits more than a quarter inch away from the scalp - die anyway.

Head checks by non-medical personnel are often unreliable.

Parents Action News talked with had mixed feelings about the suggested changes.

Action News checked in with school districts in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Visalia.

Fresno and Visalia said they already have similar measures in place - they only difference is the district gives parents the option to pick the child up from school.

Now that the new recommendations have come out - all of them say they plan to review their policies to determine whether they need to be changed.

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