Should you keep your child off school with head lice?

Many parents are torn by whether they should keep their child off school or not when they find head lice in their child’s hair. So, what are the arguments for and against that you need to weigh up?

If you find head lice and don’t do anything and just send them to school, then you are part of the problem as your child will no doubt risk infesting others at school. So as soon as you find head lice on your child you should attempt to get them out of the hair by giving them a good nit comb.

If you can get the head lice themselves out of the hair, then they can go to school. The eggs may take more time to extract, and you can tackle them that evening or the next day. The eggs or nits cannot transfer from head to head, but you need to be aware they will be hatching, so don’t hang about and get them out.

If you rely on head lice products and treatments to deal with the problem for you then you will be in for a long journey. Many parents will tell you that they don’t quite do what they promise, and you are likely to find more lice two to three weeks down the line. What you need to do is give the hair a very thorough and organised nit comb, so you don’t miss anything.

school with head lice

Keeping your child off school with head lice

If your child is younger and missing school is not a detrimental issue to their learning and development, then it would be a wise thing to keep them off school and nit comb their hair thoroughly. If you do it in the morning, they may be able to go to school for lunchtime, so only missing half a day.

Don’t panic, sit down with a good nit comb and some conditioner and work in an organised way, sectioning the hair and nit combing each section at a time. Once it is all out then you can wash and dry the hair and send your child back to school.

If you find a substantial or heavy infestation, then it is recommended that your child is kept off school and you get clearing it all out of the hair the day you find it.

Sending your child to school when you have found head lice

If your child has something they cannot miss at school, if they are of exam age and need to attend the lessons or if they have already had too much time off, then it is hard to justify keeping them off at all.

If the infestation is light then there is an argument to tie the hair back securely, so it is hard for the lice to transfer to other children, send them to school and tackle it that evening. If you have found a substantial, heavy infestation then the risk to others is higher and you need to make that judgement. Again, putting the hair back securely will be essential to protect others.

It would be wise to advise your child to not get too close to others to protect them from catching anything from them too. If you do send your child to school then you need to be ready to tackle clearing the infestation that evening, so that it is dealt with as quickly as possible.

How can you get an infestation cleared quickly?

If you find an infestation and need help to clear it quickly so your child doesn’t miss any school then you can find that assistance at The Hairforce, a professional nit and head lice clearing service with clinics in and around central London, and in Glasgow, Scotland.

They use a combination of clever technology and forensic hand clearing to get it all out of the hair and shut the infestation down, getting your child back into school and missing nothing.

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