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To think not getting rid of your child's head lice is a form of abuse.

(134 Posts)
PMDD Tue 21-Jan-14 18:55:22

Head lice are doing the rounds again. My DD has come home YET AGAIN with head lice. I comb, I use chemicals, I get rid of the lice, then she comes home again with them.

When she gets them I phone all the mums of the friends she plays closely with to tell them to ensure they check their children.

But there is a handful of children across the school that just do nothing about it.

Is there anyway the law could be changed so that those children with nits can not come back to school until they are clear of nits.

SantanaLopez Tue 21-Jan-14 18:57:29

I was with you until the last sentence.

RedHelenB Tue 21-Jan-14 18:57:48

YABU - they're annoying rather than a health hazard. if you regularly nit comb your children's hair they won't be a problem but you need to do it thoroughly and weekly.

PMDD Tue 21-Jan-14 19:07:14

But the problem is RedHelen not all parents do regularly nit comb. That is my point.

I do it, regularly, and if I find anything I treat with Hedrin etc.

However, as not all parents do this, the lice keep coming back and spreading. Surely there should be a rule that if you have head lice you need to treat it to get rid of it... it only takes 10 mins with the chemicals!!! It isn't like the child will be off for more than a day.

Gossipmonster Tue 21-Jan-14 19:11:22

Hedrin is expensive not everyone can afford it, conditioner and a nitty gritty comb is best.

Continual nits can be a sign of abuse/neglect but in itself it isn't.

I remember my DD had them continually for about a year I didn't seem able to get rid of them it was a nightmare and I was a single mum working full time - it was so time consuming! She stopped getting them when she fell out with a certain friend!

YABU - but I think the school nurse should check for nits - but they don't have time now esp with the HPV vaccinations.

elliejjtiny Tue 21-Jan-14 19:13:28

YANBU. Headlice are a nightmare. I comb my boys hair with the nitty gritty comb 3 times a week as it's the only way to keep them under control. I wish parents could be forced to treat their children and I would happily treat the offending children myself if I could find out who is going round with untreated nits.

Mumof3xx Tue 21-Jan-14 19:14:39

I think the problem is a lot of people just do one lot of the chemical stuff and think that's it

PMDD Tue 21-Jan-14 19:16:22

Did you know Gossipmonster that it was the 'certain friend' who was they one giving your dd the nits?

I don't know who is giving my dd nits. But a friend of mine with a dd a year older knows which girl has continual nits and has spoken to the teacher asking her to speak to the mum. The teacher refused and said all she could do was send a generic note to the whole class saying there was nits going round. The said mum ignored that note as well.

oodyboodyboocs Tue 21-Jan-14 19:16:50

If they brought in a law like that my kids would never be in school. They seem to always have nits. I comb them regularly (several times a week) with a nitty gritty comb and conditioner. I have spent a fortune on nit treatments. It doesn't seem to make any difference. Every now and again I think I'm winning the battle but a couple of days later they have more than ever.
I feel dreadful that my kids always have nits, though it doesn't seem to bother them. I would love to be rid of them. So don't assume that parents are doing nothing about them.

Gossipmonster Tue 21-Jan-14 19:17:44

Yes as she was crawling with them - urgh!! My 2 boys would then get them too!

Gossipmonster Tue 21-Jan-14 19:18:49

Exactly Oody - you only have to miss one egg hmm.

AphraBane Tue 21-Jan-14 19:20:22

"Surely there should be a rule that if you have head lice you need to treat it to get rid of it"
Actually, there is exactly this rule here in Germany (as well as an obligation to notify the school so they can anonymously warn other parents to do a check). Once you discover nits you are obliged to use a recognised treatment before DC can be sent back to school - and since there is no home schooling, there is no way around the treatment. And you know what, the little feckers are still everywhere. I know for a fact that DD2 was 'clean' when she went back to school after Christmas because I had done a full conditioner Nitty Gritty 45 minute comb through the night before, as well as several checks during the holidays. But she was infested again a few days later. Every parent in our class swears they do the treatment if they find any, yet we still can't get rid of them. How would you be certain that parents have actually done the treatment? There's no way of proving or disproving it (I suppose theoretically you could ask people to show a receipt from the chemist, but that doesn't even prove it's been used, and what if people borrow some from friends...)

91chloejp Tue 21-Jan-14 19:22:13

YANBU in my opinion.

Nits are a pain in the backside and can be a cause of bullying. it certainly was when I was at school as we all knew who the person with nits was.

Maybe not banning them from returning to school but teachers should speak to the parent(s) directly instead of sending a letter that is mostly ignored.

WooWooOwl Tue 21-Jan-14 19:22:35


I remember having nits as a child, it feels horrible!

Children wouldn't constantly have nits if parents were forced into treating them and couldn't leave their children at school if they had them. Persistent infestations are usually down to parents that don't bother treating, or who do it once and the give up.

To be fair, it can take a lot more than ten minutes, it depends on the thickness and length of hair how long it takes. But it taking a long time really isn't an excuse not to do it.

Sunshineonsea Tue 21-Jan-14 19:23:11

I have known a teacher to send a child home because the poor thing was crawling with them and was constantly scratching
The problem is it needs all parents to keep on top of it constantly
My niece is a magnet for them and has thick curly hair, to other parents she would probably look like the spreader but dsis combs through her hair every few days but it seems she catches them a lot because there's no way to be sure who has them at any given time and who she needs to keep away from

sonlypuppyfat Tue 21-Jan-14 19:23:28

I just used to use tons of cheap conditioner and a comb you can get rid of them its just patience that gets rid of them.

91chloejp Tue 21-Jan-14 19:25:07

After reading Aphrabane's post I really don't think there's any other way to prevent nits but having a designated person to go through children's hair. But that costs money and where's the time in the school day. Plus it's our responsibility as parents to make sure it's done!

Thetallesttower Tue 21-Jan-14 19:26:45

I think this kit is amazing, I don't know if it is better than the NittyGritty, but the very fine comb even gets the eggs which is why you keep getting them back a few days later. It also tells you exactly which days to do to break the cycle based on the lifecycle of the nit!

So, you will be free if you do this, it's never failed for me, and then if you are very unlucky and a great big adult nit jumps on your children's head the very next day, you'll pick it up with the next comb before it lays eggs and at least you will know if there's been a new infestation (and it's not just the old eggs hatching).

I think I'm right in saying that in Germany children are sent home and not allowed to return while they have head lice, so you would have to get on top of it pretty quickly if you wanted them to get an education (but I also get the impression that for this reason, it's much rarer there).

BabstheChicken Tue 21-Jan-14 19:26:57

A form of abuse......really? hmm I'm so fed up with people tacking 'child abuse' onto minor child care issues. Not only does it make the poster look incredibly unintelligent and hysterical, it's unbelievably insulting to those who've actually suffered child abuse. There are no words to describe how unreasonable you're being, based on your thread title alone.

britbat Tue 21-Jan-14 19:27:29

In Russia they just shave the heads of the entire class

Thetallesttower Tue 21-Jan-14 19:27:55

Crossed posts with Aphra-sounds like it isn't rarer after all!

Lamu Tue 21-Jan-14 19:29:50

Urghhhh the dreaded nits! We've just got over our latest episode. Twice in two months. Picked up from toddler groups, go figure.

Not sure about keeping kids off school, but a teacher/ school nurse etc should be able to pinpoint a child with active lice and inform the parent directly.

AphraBane Tue 21-Jan-14 19:33:04

"I think I'm right in saying that in Germany children are sent home and not allowed to return while they have head lice, so you would have to get on top of it pretty quickly if you wanted them to get an education (but I also get the impression that for this reason, it's much rarer there)."

You're sort of right. Children are indeed sent home if they're discovered with lice, but they're allowed to return as soon as the recognised treatment has been carried out (with the promise that the second treatment will be carried out 9 days later). Combing is recommended but not compulsory, strangely enough. There's a list of 'approved treatments', but we all know that several of them are now effectively useless because the little feckers have built up immunity. The one that seems to be working well right now is called Nyda - we tend to have a spare bottle at home so that if we discover some at night DD2 can do an overnight treatment and still go to school the following day.

And your impression that lice are rarer in Germany is sadly way off course here in Berlin, where they are a sad fact of life for the under-12s (and we live in a relatively wealthy part of town, and it's made feck-all difference). Perhaps in the villages of Bavaria things are a little better.

Ragwort Tue 21-Jan-14 19:33:06

Why do some children get head lice and others don't - genuine question?

My DS has never had head lice - he has very short hair. I am not obsessed with cleanliness but I really wonder why it is such an issue at primary school and then you never hear about it again confused?

NonnoMum Tue 21-Jan-14 19:34:29

Some 5 year old girls in my DD's class have waist length hair.
It looks horrible and must contribute.

Not all hair types take well to being combed. My dd has curly hair and she cries when we have to comb it with a nit comb...

Hate them

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