WFISD adjusts to new lice law

Updated: Sep. 21, 2017 at 6:27 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Every year head lice spread throughout schools causing problems for parents, students, and teachers.

But the state is doing something about it.

A new law that went into effect this year requires schools to notify the parents of the entire grade or homeroom of each student that has head lice.

Wichita Falls ISD Healthcare Coordinator, Debi Mills, said the district is in compliance and has always followed the state law.

"That's what we've always used as our guidelines for head lice and for a lot of communicable diseases as well," Mills said.

They incorporate the CDC's recommendations as well.

"We will send home instructions to parents about what the CDC suggests for treatment and prevention of head lice," she said.

Southern Hills Elementary Nurse, Kelsie Whitener, said the new law has not affected them much because there have only been a few reported cases. But she believes that could change as the year goes on.

"I could see it kind of becoming more hectic having to send out a letter to every parent for every child we catch with lice," Whitener said. "Because then we have to send a letter out to every homeroom that they're in."

Before the year, WFISD would send notes home after three kids were diagnosed with lice.

The Iowa Park and Electra school districts also changed their protocol over the summer to be in compliance.

Mills and Whitener both think it is a good idea, and that students will benefit.

"Healthy students make better learners," Mills said. "Our job as school nurses is to keep students in the classroom."

"Our main goal is for all the kids to be healthy and in class everyday learning," Whitener said.

Mills said it is important for parents to regularly check their kid's hair for lice to reduce the possibility of an outbreak at one of the schools.

Mills and Whitener both said it's important for parents that have kids with lice to treat everything including their bed, the couch, and their toys to prevent them from getting it again.

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