A good No Nit Policy is a prevention-spirited school, camp, or childcare policy that includes community education, routine screenings, and notification to parents when lice are detected. It guides parents as to how long children should stay home before returning to school. It safeguards non-infested children from being exposed to head lice, giving those parents reassurance.
Start with Education
A very important first step in a No Nit Policy is education. Parents, teachers, and all childcare givers should be educated about head lice including what it is, how it spreads, and proper treatment including natural and manual options, how to perform routine screenings, and what to do in the case of an outbreak. Many times a lack of education on the facts of head lice lead people to react based on myths and misconceptions.
The community should be informed that this is not a ‘dirty’ problem or a reason to feel ashamed – for children or parents. It is a common issue among toddler and elementary school age children that can be remedied through natural methods, consideration, and communication.
Routine Lice Screenings and Early Detection
A No Nit Policy should include regular screenings at home by the parents and at school by the nurse. This can facilitate early detection and help nip the problem in the bud right from the start. This kind of early detection can eliminate head lice outbreaks.
Lice Prevention through Notification
Keeping an open and honest line of communication between parents and schools is critical to preventing additional infestations. When a school learns of a case of head lice, they should report it to the parents in a letter. Likewise, parents who detect lice on their children should inform the school, camp, or daycare facility so they can warn other parents to check their children as well. This kind of open two-way communication can stop lice outbreaks before they start.
The key to promoting No-Nit Policies is to be understanding to parents and children alike. Children need to know this is not their fault, and there is no reason to be ashamed. Parents need to be educated on how to prevent and treat head lice before it gets out of control. If parents understand their responsibility to control nits on their children, and the school’s willingness to work with them to keep children nit free, a No Nit Policy can be enacted and enforced without issue.