Advanced search

Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Head lice - infested children in DS's class

(24 Posts)
MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 20:52:46

Just looking for a bit of a sense-check before I have a chat with school tomorrow.
DS has just started in reception, but was at the preschool in his school setting.

Last school year, he had nits 2 or 3 times (not totally sure as the first 2 were close together & it was our first head lice experience; I couldn't swear to having eliminated them after the first episode.

Anyway, this is Monday of week 4 in reception and 2nd time of nits.

First time was on the Thursday of week 1. Pulled 1 louse & 10 eggs out of his hair that evening plus treated with Hedrin in case of a missed egg. Chatted to class teacher in the Friday morning & Friday evening a letter came home. Also bumped into the HT that afternoon who came over in playground to ask in general how week one had been & mentioned the class teacher passed on the nit news & gave his apologies.

I've been checking carefully every 3 days since including last night & he was totally clear. We've also been using the Hedrin preventer spray, but apparently DH forgot this morning.

This evening, literally just stood over him & saw 1 crawling in his hair (he's very blonde), got the Hedrin out, treated & combed it through & found NINE large adults & about 20-25 eggs.

So, my question is, am I right in thinking that he's caught them from a child with a serious louse problem? Would it be awful of me to go into school and say that?

I KNOW he was clear this morning. I know he's clear now. I'm kind of not even worried for him. It's a hassle but we'll just keep de-lousing as many times as he comes home with lice.

I'm worried that there's a kid who has so many lice that 9 walk across to DS's head in the course of a day.

Any ideas for approaching this effectively but kindly & tactfully?

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 21:58:56


Witchend Mon 26-Sep-16 21:59:44

It's also possible that you have drug resistant lice. Had that with one of mine where I'd think they were clear having checked several times and then find a few days later they had a few big ones. On one occasion they hadn't been in contact with anyone so I know that it hadn't been repacked up.

eatingtomuch Mon 26-Sep-16 22:04:21

Unfortunately all schools can do is send the standard letter home to parents.
I work in schools and have seen lice drop out of children's hair. Parents are advised, but if they don't treat the child schools are not able to do much.

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 22:07:34

Witch I'm totally certain he was clear. He has short white-blonde hair. When I de-louse, I aim to remove all lice and eggs. The Hedrin is a back-up for the one or two that I might miss. Lice the size he had this evening are over 1 week old & he was clear yesterday.

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 22:11:18

eating is that true in all schools? My niece got sent home with lice (much to her parents' embarassment) this spring in an English, state, primary school. Before you ask, we haven't seen those relatives recently! grin

ChrissieLatham Mon 26-Sep-16 22:23:42

Hedrin needs to be used twice - a week apart. If you don't do it again a week later then you will get lice hatching from missed eggs as the Hedrin suffocates the lice but doesn't kill the eggs. You need to do it again to kill the newly hatched lice before they are mature enough to be able to lay their own eggs.

ChrissieLatham Mon 26-Sep-16 22:25:13

Hedrin doesn't have resistance because of the way it works but chemical ones like Lyclear and derbac have high levels of resistance.

RandomMess Mon 26-Sep-16 22:29:10

A child that is seriously infested with lice and where obviously the parents are not trying to treat it should be reported to SS as it is a reconginsed indicator of potential wider neglect.

Feeling "lousy" this it where the saying comes from, they drink your blood, they can make you anemic.

Certainly when one child was constantly infested (and I mean large adults crawling everywhere) and the school kept saying "nothing we can do" parent said if the school didn't report to SS they would - strangely enough the matter was dealt with...

To the op, it does sounds like you didn't get rid of the all the eggs and they hatched?

bloodyteenagers Mon 26-Sep-16 22:34:14

Are you also treating everyone in the house?
And remember the eggs can be tiny and more visible when near the scalp, further down the hair strand, and they are missed.

eatingtomuch Mon 26-Sep-16 22:38:26

Children should not be sent home from school because of head lice.

Serious infestation of head lice is clearly a course for concern and could be a sign of neglect.

If this was the only concern a school had about a child then SS would not be called. You would refer to family support services first.

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 22:42:35

I can't understand how I can be any clearer.

I have been through his hair with a fine comb every 3 days since Thursday 8th September. I removed all lice & all eggs on that date.

I also used Hedrin on 8th September for the slight chance that an egg was missed. The type of Hedrin I used clearly states that it is for killing eggs as well as live lice & is a one-off treatment.

As I have been checking regularly for both lice & eggs & have found none repeating the Hedrin is against the guidance.

The lice I found today (9 of them) were fully grown adults. I did our 3 day check yesterday and there wasn't so much as an egg never mind huge great lice stamping around.

Anyone got any advice for raising this with school about the parents NOT dealing with this appropriately?

Hockeydude Mon 26-Sep-16 22:44:40

How short is his hair? When my ds got nits from one particular friend who was permanently crawling with them, I decided to get ds's hair grade 3 all over. It's too short for nits to live in. Quite drastic but just a suggestion in case it is already nearly short enough to eliminate the problem.

Hockeydude Mon 26-Sep-16 22:46:31

Oh I meant to add that there are lots of parents who can't/won't deal with nits and there isn't anything school can do other than send letters. Made no difference in our case, hence the hair cut.

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 22:46:32

bloodyteenagers yes we treated everyone in the house. I'm fairly confident I'm doing this right. Today's lice were no way just hatched. I really really really don't think this is a problem from within our house.

SnipSnapCrashCrack Mon 26-Sep-16 22:51:28

Not tried this myself but my hairdresser swears by putting a small amount of hair gel in her sons hair for school and he has never had nits. Apparently the nits won't cling to it, could be worth a try?

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 22:52:33

SnipSnap thanks for the tip. I'll try that.

Dontlaugh Mon 26-Sep-16 22:56:30

Nits don't live on hair, as such, they live close enough to the scalp to suck blood so having a grade 3 cut doesn't deter nor cure them but does make them easier to see.
OP, yes, someone in the class is infested with a serious louse problem. If your son was clear yesterday (and you explained it clearly that he was) and is now presenting with large adults and nits then yes, someone's growing a farm on their head.
And yes, it is a marker for wider neglect in a family so chronic, untreated headlice is not just bad luck, it's bullshit parenting.

avamiah Mon 26-Sep-16 23:01:10

Hi OP,
My daughter is year 2 primary and was only in school for the second day after summer break when i found 1 nasty looking black louse and a lot of eggs stuck to her thick long black hair.
I was absolutely fuming as my DD told me which girl had head lice and that she was scratching her head all day long and that all the other girls wouldnt sit next to her.
I didn't hesitate the following morning to speak to the teacher in private,and guess what she already knew what i was going to say and quickly informed me that the childs family had been informed and and how a letter was going home at the end of the day informing us of a head lice Outbreak .
So, my advice is to go and speak to the class teacher first thing so they ensure all parents know to treat their children.

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 23:04:21

Thanks Dontlaugh, I will have a chat with the class teacher with the angle that I'm a bit concerned for the child with the infestation.

As I said up thread, it's a pain to have to de-louse all the time, but that's what you do as a parent if your darling comes home with lice.

MaximumVolume Mon 26-Sep-16 23:06:43

Thanks avamiah it must be a nightmare with long, thick, dark hair. I'm so grateful for both my boys having short blonde hair so checking regularly isn't too much of a chore.

MaximumVolume Tue 27-Sep-16 10:17:09

I chatted to the class teacher today and he said that he'll look out for an obvious case as they are allowed to speak to individual families where they notice them. They aren't allowed to nit check, though. A general letter will go out this afternoon reminding parents to check. I'll be doing daily checks for now so we'll see what happens tonight.

Unlockable Tue 27-Sep-16 10:22:50

Get the school to send a letter out, demanding all parents to check and treat their hair on the same weekend. Our school did this at my begging after DD was infested yet again, waist length thick hair
with allergies to every nit lotion going
There is a campaign poster online somewhere about doing this on certain dates over the year.

MaximumVolume Tue 27-Sep-16 10:31:16

unlockable I'll try this approach if we have a recurrence. Great idea.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now