In a new guideline published in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics claims that schools should abandon strict policies on head lice that require kids be out of school for unnecessary period of time.

The group particularly urges schools to abandon the requirement that kids need to be free of nits before returning school according to the “no nits” policy. Nits are left by lice after eggs hatch.

“We wanted to clarify that since nits do not transmit disease, it is inappropriate to keep children with them out of school,” said co-author of the report Joseph A. Bocchini Jr., MD.

In the new guideline issued for the first time since 2002, AAP included diagnosis and treatment of head lice in school.

For most head lice infestations, the researchers recommended using 1% permethrin lotion followed by a second application 1 week later.

On how to selecting appropriate treatment, Bocchini said that parents and caregivers should choose treatment that is safe, easy to use, reasonably priced and proven to be nontoxic.

“Treatment failure is often related to a missed diagnosis or not following the manufacturer’s recommendation for treatment,” Bocchini said. “The first step is to make sure parents have a good diagnosis from someone who has some experience of what to look for, and then medication needs to be given appropriately, then the possibility of resistance needs to be considered.”