Do you know your school's policy on head lice?

With the new school year upon us, many of you wanted to know what school policies are when it comes to head lice as our Facebook Story of the Day.

Kirksville R-III School District has a no live lice policy.

So what does that exactly mean? Well, if a student has a live louse they will be sent to the nurse TMs office. If the infestation is minimal, the nurse will remove the lice and nits (lice eggs) and the student will be allowed back to class, the parents will be contacted and the student will still have to seek treatment at home.

If the nurse can not remove all the lice and nits, the student will be sent home immediately for treatment.

According to Health Services Director for Kirksville R-III School District, Jane Wheeler, it may be a while before lice on a student is detected.

Usually if there is a live louse found on the child TMs head they have been there for about a month, so there aren TMt a lot of symptoms until they become adults and begin to bite, Wheeler said. Lice feed on blood, so they have to bite your head and you normally don TMt feel that bite because they are so tiny. Sometimes people can have an allergic reaction to that bite and begin to scratch and that TMs when you notice there might be something wrong.

And believe it or not, schools are not the most common places where head lice are spread.

Contrary to popular belief, schools are not the most common place, usually kids get it from sleep-overs, bedding or actually laying too close to someone that has lice, said Wheeler. You TMve might of heard that a child can get lice from sharing caps, well yes, if they are shared immediately because once a louse has been passed on to a cap, they can TMt live very long off of a host because they have to have blood to suck on to live.

Head lice are not a source of infection or disease; they are simply a nuisance and anyone can get them.

It doesn TMt matter if you have short or long hair, said Wheeler. Obviously, it helps if you have short hair to check the hair and even follow up and check to see if the lice are gone because nits cling very closely to the root of the hair, about 1/4 of an inch is where the lice lay their eggs so you have to check real closely to the scalp. The nits are cemented to that hair shaft by the louse and they are very tiny and they're very smart because they can pigment the nit to your hair color{>}

According to Wheeler, school TMs no longer check for head lice. Not only does it take away from class time, but in the past when they used to check for head lice, they rarely ever found any students with them.

It takes about 10 days to get rid of lice and there are several over-the-counter medications you can buy at your local drug stores. If those don TMt work, your physician can prescribe a stronger dose of medication for your child TMs scalp.

To learn more about lice and some interesting facts you can click here. If you would like to view Kirksville R-III School District TMs parent's treatment flowchart you can also click here.