For most parents, they are the worst things a kid can bring home from school: lice. Those pesky, panic-inducing insects that seem to set up camp in your kids' hair at least once in their academic career.
According to the Mayo Clinic, head lice are a very common problem, second only to the common cold among communicable diseases affecting schoolchildren -- which is why some parents are still scratching their heads (pun intended) over a new report from The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
According to the report, a case of head lice is no reason for a child to miss school. In addition, the AAP recommends that schools abandon "no-nits" policies, which require that children be nit-free (nits are the small, dandruff-like empty egg casings lice leave behind once they've hatched) before returning to class.
"Head lice are not a health hazard or a sign of poor hygiene and, in contrast to body lice, are not responsible for the spread of any disease," the AAP reports. "No healthy child should be excluded from or miss school because of head lice."
While they certainly aren't a health risk, there is no doubt that getting rid of lice is a nuisance. Find out how to treat lice and other icky kid health problems here.
Has your child ever had lice? What did you do? Would you send your kid to school with lice, given the new guidelines?
Update: Read all about preventing and treating lice -- as well as the new AAP guidelines -- in our new Lice health guide.