Head lice policy concerns parents - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Head lice policy concerns parents

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by John Wilmer

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- An outbreak of head lice is common at any school, but some area parents are raising concerns about how the school district is handling the problem.

In Cedar Falls an outbreak is taking place at one elementary school. The district is not jumping into action, but following state guidelines.

"We don't screen classrooms or schools for head lice. If there is a need that arises to check a student for head lice we'll be happy to do that. As a school nurse that need could come from the student themselves, the teacher, or a parent could call us," said Cedar Falls School Nurse, Sue Gettman.

"Nobody wants bugs, nobody wants to see the whole town walking around itching their heads," said concerned parent Jo An Johnson.

Johnson discovered that her daughter had head lice on Thursday, not from the school but after receiving a call from a friend. Johnson wishes the school would have taken better steps to warn parents about the outbreak.

"From what I understood they could tell people but they weren't required to so they weren't going to and I was just like... Wouldn't you like to know if there was head lice in your kids class so you could be reminded to check your kids because there's a lot of other business and other thing going on in peoples lives that they don't think about head lice," said Johnson.

"It's a big nuisance problem to be honest it's not a communicable disease and they're a lot of misperception out there about head lice. People think they can jump, people think they're readily transmitted in the school setting when reality that's not the case," said Gettman.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health head lice will spread as long as children play together through hair to hair contact, however, anyone is at risk.

The state also says getting head lice is not a sign of being dirty.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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