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To expect parents to be told when a child has head lice?

(23 Posts)
ScottishGlen Fri 16-Oct-15 21:19:02

I am a TA in a mainstream secondary school. Yesterday I was supporting a year 9 girl and saw several quite substantial headlice wandering in and out of her hair. She needs a lot of support in school and is unlikely to realise there is a problem even though she is scratching a lot. She has TA support in every lesson and is the kind of girl who likes to sit pretty close to you so my colleagues and I are at risk of catching the lice. I spoke to the head of key stage who told me that to avoid stigmatizing one pupil the only option is to send a letter home for each child in the yeargroup asking that their hair is checked for lice. Today my colleague saw more active lice so letter has not been seen or acted on by her parents.
AIBU to think that a phone call needs to be made home for the girl's wellbeing, to protect us TAs, to minimise further spread and because surely a parent has a right to know. I would certainly want to know if my child had lice.
I have nit combed my hair and found nothing but am still scratching at the thought!

gobbin Fri 16-Oct-15 21:50:03

In our (secondary) school the parent would be contacted and told to get child treated same day.

Babyroobs Fri 16-Oct-15 21:59:25

I naively thought that kids didn't really get head lice once they went to secondary school. However my yr 8 ds came home scratching last weekend and I was horrified to discover a head full of nits ( never had a case this bad in my home before!!). I considered informing the school, but have never had a general letter home like I used to at primary.

Changedtoday Fri 16-Oct-15 22:07:07

Speaking as a patent of a secondary pupil who twice this term has brought lice home, I wish this was the case. They are usually hard to spot like that so the poor girl must be suffering a terrible infestation.

OhWotIsItThisTime Fri 16-Oct-15 22:07:47

That's ridiculous. Her parents should be rung and told to sort it.

Make noises about your right not to be exposed to infectious parasites. That should do it.

systemusername Fri 16-Oct-15 22:12:38

We were told in the primary i used to work in that we couldn't! We were allowed to send generic letters home and hope the infested childs parents checked. In one very very bad case (falling off head so many) they did allow us to tell the parents under the guise that we had spotted them when she had not bumped her head.

DC has had them twice in secondaryangry

oneyorkshirepud Fri 16-Oct-15 22:14:21

Of course parents should be contacted! You should also raise a child protection concern as untreated head lice is a sign of neglect. Headlice in itself is, of course, not, kids get headlice. However if she is visibly crawling and it goes untreated that needs to go to your child protection officer. (Who should call home).

FiveHoursSleep Fri 16-Oct-15 22:15:31

Another one who has had more trouble with nits in secondary then in primary angry

Aeroflotgirl Fri 16-Oct-15 22:18:48

Yes the parents should be contacted, it's a duty of care to the chikd and other children.

Mari50 Fri 16-Oct-15 22:21:52

In my daughters primary the policy is not to inform parents of an outbreak so as not to stigmatise the child. Bollocks. If you are informed of an outbreak you don't even need to know the class, just whether it's infants/middles or seniors and at least you'd know to look. I've recently discovered my daughters best friend had nits and their parents didn't think to let us know, I think this is pathetic. If my daughter got nits I'd let all her close friends parents know- it's just bad luck, nothing else and forewarned is fore armed surely.

goawayalready Fri 16-Oct-15 23:29:22

i was told in primary they were not allowed to remove the child unless a parent saw the lice so i was called to accidentally "discover" head lice on a repeat offender so they could call mom to take her home and treat her (i used to go in and do the reading for the children) she ignored the phone call and the school took her aside and pointedly told her off for refusing to collect her child

OhWotIsItThisTime Sat 17-Oct-15 06:42:53

What's with all the pussy footing about nits? I'd want to know as soon as possible so I could treat my kids.

EllyHigginbottom Sat 17-Oct-15 06:46:19

I second the "what's all the pussy footing". No need to wring your hands over it. Once it's gotten to the stage where there's movement in one's head (ugh) then it's going to be spreading like wildfire.

My kids and I had it in September, it's grim but easily managed.

Babbafish Sat 17-Oct-15 06:58:42

My son goes to a special school ... We got this letter last week.... Does that mean someone in his class has nits?

catfordbetty Sat 17-Oct-15 07:05:23

Speak to your line manager. Make it clear that you are not willing to work in these circumstances.

ScottishGlen Sat 17-Oct-15 09:40:26

Yes Babbafish I think it probably does. I would check your son's hair.

Oneyorkshirepud - I have absolutely no child protection concerns about this child. I would much prefer that school made a simple call home rather than going down a cp route. Seems this might be beyond the wit of man though. I'm due to work with said child again on Monday so will look out for signs of life in her hair.

OhWotIsItThisTime Tue 20-Oct-15 05:53:11

Any life forms spotted, op?

Axekick Tue 20-Oct-15 06:17:21

It's really frustrating. Dd insists on keeping her hair long. She has had them twice this year already! He hair is thick and I then have to treat us and and ds.

I have never understood why a phone call to the child's parents is classed as stigmatising the child.

In primary dd got them a couple of times and stopped it by putting some tea tree oil in a spray bottle with water and sprayed her hair every day before I tied it up. Could be coincidence but she never got them again. I will have to start doing that again I think.

Justmyluck1 Tue 20-Oct-15 06:59:18

Scratching now!

I don't get that op. I was a TA and would have gone to my line manager too. It's not acceptable. Of course the parents need telling and if the child has SN do parents pick up? If so I would tell them myself. Where's the common sense here.

By all jeans send a generic letter home but head lice are grim. We have had them a fair few times.

When my lads started using hair gel they never had them again and I second tea tree oil. Makes the hair slippy and the buggers harder to grip on I believe. Works anyway

Obs2015 Tue 20-Oct-15 07:18:32

How does a private phone call, to said parents, that no one else knows about, stigmatise a particular child?

annielouise Tue 20-Oct-15 07:26:49

Schools don't act fast enough. A few times I saw nits in my DC's hair, informed the school expecting a letter to go out, treated my DC's hair for £20 (2 x £10 a bottle) to find the school letter has been delayed and they got reinfected. Had a go the second time that happened and was eye rolled by the school secretary for complaining. Told her I could afford the £20 but some parents could not so they need to act faster. Agree with last post - how does a phone call home stigmatise a child when no one else would know. Far better that than she's stigmatised for being dirty once the other kids notice - yes I do know it's nothing to do with dirty hair but kids might think that.

Justmyluck1 Tue 20-Oct-15 07:31:59

Totally agree with the last 2 posts. In my view it's a duty of care to the child. They are suffering with nits. Parents need to sort it. School should tell them if they see any and then exclude if the parents don't sort it. Pesistant untreated nits is neglect. End of.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 20-Oct-15 07:40:47

of course you should be able to make the call.

I have never understood why the rights if one set of parents to neglect their chikd and not treat them and remain anonymous outranks everyone else's right to not be infested with parasites every time they send their kid to school.

seems to me the "rights" only ever seem to protect the very people who need the kick up the arse and never anyone else.

treatment is expensive, some kids will have bad reactions either to the bites or the treatments. it's not fair on those kids

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