Arlington County has changed the reporting guidelines for lice, and it is no longer a requirement that families report the little buggers. This is unfortunate, since children can be asymptomatic carriers for several days, which heightens the chance for spread.
Last Sunday night, Helen attended a birthday party and one of the moms came up to me after dropping Helen off and said "just wanted to let you know, the classroom next door to ours has lice", which I thought was nice of her to mention. She has children in both classrooms.
Tonight, I received a note from a parent in Helen's class self-reporting that her son had lice, along with some information on how to spot lice and take care of it. That note inspired another mom to check her daughter's hair and sure enough, her daughter also was playing host to several bugs.
I get Arlington's position, that it's not a health issue, it's a nuisance. But it can become a big nuisance, and it seems to me knowing it's in the classroom is better than not knowing. I'm grateful to the parents for self-reporting, and I'm also once again grateful to the folks at Lice Happens who gifted me a comb at a blogging event several years ago. I'll be deploying that comb on Helen's head, hoping her head has not been near enough another child's to have a wayward louse decide to join her crazy hair.
Updated: NO LICE - so far, at least!