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Texas Has a New Lice Law, and Here’s What Parents Need to Know

Portrait of an attractive woman at table grabbing her head
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As a parent, if you get a letter this year from your child’s school saying a classmate has head lice, it’s because a new Texas law requires the school to send it.  But there is one lice instance that will remain undercover, and parents will never know about it.  

Schools don’t have to notify parents about a case of head lice if the bugs aren’t actually full grown and active.  In other words, if it’s just the “nits,” the school doesn’t legally have to let parents know that a case has been discovered.  (Nits are lice eggs.)

The state health department doesn’t recommend that school districts make students leave school if they have nits, and they said in fact that “no nit” policies can be unproductive because it creates strain on the student and the parents when the student can’t attend school because of the lice eggs.  There is some room for local school districts to develop their own policies on that, with the assumption that the lice can’t transfer from head to head until they’re old enough to jump.

When active lice are discovered, schools have to notify the parents of the student with lice within 48 hours.  And then the letters have to go out to the rest of the class and parents within five days, according to Texas law.

So that’s the procedure.  And we hope you never get those nasty little things under your roof!  Getting rid of them becomes a dedicated battle of laser-focused proportions, laundering every sheet, blanket, and article of clothing in the house two or three times. While you’re investing heavily in special medicated shampoos and fine-tooth combs.

Lice are nasty.  But the kids who get them are not!  Lice don’t discriminate, and any kid can get them.  It’s important to remember that it’s not the child’s fault, and if we get letters from the school this year it’s because the school is doing its part to keep us informed, and it’s only a temporary thing.  Texas Health and Human Services has a whole lot more lice info HERE.

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