Advanced search

Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.

Head lice checks at school

(39 Posts)
Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 10:42:37

Had to treat my ds for nits AGAIN last night, 3rd time since term started, treated only las tuesday, then had them again yesterday. We do all the precautions at home, use teatree oil on his hair, changed his bed, the lot.

Anyway I asked teacher this morning about why, when it is obviously a major problem in his class, they can't check the children and point things out to offending parents. Apparently there isn't the funding for checks (although they've just had a professionally built garden job, and are putting new fencing round inside a perfectly good chain link fence).

Anyway, my childminder, who is an NNEB, has a CRB check certificate, and helps out at the school nursery when they are short staffed, says she will volunteer her time to go in and check the children (she's an expert at bug spotting by now).

How would you put this to the headteacher?

I have the impression that the offer might not be welcomed.

Potty1 Thu 03-Feb-05 10:52:54

Having gone through the whole of primary with dd fighting a losing battle against nits, I would be perfectly happy to have someone check my (and everyone else's) child's hair.

But I think that you're right Easy and the school will say no along the lines of Child protection, blah de blah. TBH I think it's a joke, I had long wavy hair at school and never once caught nits - I remember the nit nurse, regularly checking our hair - even in secondary school. Bring her back

misdee Thu 03-Feb-05 10:53:07

i belive the nit nurse has been gotton rid of as its apparently demeaning for the kids.

biggest load of b*llocks if you ask me. all they have to do is check, write downwhich children are affected and give the parents a disceet letter.

misdee Thu 03-Feb-05 10:53:52

my dad just said 'bring back the nit nurse!!'

Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 10:55:29

IMO having nits is much more demeaning than having your head looked at !!!

Caligula Thu 03-Feb-05 10:56:12

Why not get the information from the bugbusters website here and present it to the school as an opportunity to be pro-active in joining up with the national bugbusting days that they run.

Then that way, they'll be doing it as part of a national initiative, rather than because a nuisance parent is suggesting it. So they'll be more inclined to agree.

Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 10:56:55

Seeing as I have signed a form giving permission for my son's teeth to be examined at school, and another one for his hearing, I don't see why parents can't be asked to give permission for a headlice check.

Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 10:57:58


Hey, that sounds like a good idea, I'm off to investigate.

noddyholder Thu 03-Feb-05 10:59:27

none of it is demeaning getting checked or having them!It is nature and kids and we just have to keep combing!!!!!!!!!!!

sobernow Thu 03-Feb-05 11:05:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 11:08:30

Yes, dh and I spent ages examining each others heads last night, cos we were both scratching.

This house looked more like an ape colony (we haven't got them tho')

Mothernature Thu 03-Feb-05 11:10:32

At the end of the day, the only way we would be rid of lice once and for all is mass de-nitting by everyone in the world on the same day..that's very unlikely, but would be wonderful if possible, debates like this one run everyday all over, it just takes a few who do not bother to allow these usuless creatures to multiply as they do..

Slinky Thu 03-Feb-05 11:16:30

DD1 came home last night and said that she'd noticed "these little insects" in her friends hair.

So if my DD noticed them whilst sitting next to her in class, why the HELL hasn't her mum noticed?? Jeeezzz, really pisses me off.

Insisted DD went into school today with her hair tied up.

cutekids Thu 03-Feb-05 11:17:27

it doesn't help that head-lice treatment that u get from the dr very rarely works. The stuff u buy at the chemist's works but u can't keep using it and the new repellent that's out at the moment is £11/£12 in Boots. Why so expensive?

scotlou Thu 03-Feb-05 11:23:42

I know one of the council's in Scotland will not even let schools notify parents if headlice are in the school - never mind tell the parents if their child is infected! It's an infringement of people's rights to privacy, apparently. When I was at school there were regular checks by the nit nurse - and I was never infected - or was aware of anyone else having them eitehr.
Slinky - re tying up hair - I read in a newspaper at the weekend - may have been the Times - that it is actually better to keep hair loose as it is harder for the lice to get close to the head or something.

cutekids Thu 03-Feb-05 11:23:57

is this a nationwide problem? we're in north wales and it seems to be rife here.

cutekids Thu 03-Feb-05 11:25:45

why are we getting so much mis-information? one of the mums at school told me the other day that tea-tree actually attracts rather than repells lice!!!

Caligula Thu 03-Feb-05 11:28:13

That is absolutely typical of councils who set up policies without consulting the people who are affected by them.

I don't see how receiving a letter letting me know that there are lice in the school, contravenes my or anyone else's privacy. I wonder how many parents actually would feel that their privacy has been invaded if other parents were warned about lice? I wonder if that council has thought to ask them?

Potty1 Thu 03-Feb-05 11:29:18

It's a joke isn't it - rights to privacy - what about my child's right to not catch nits from her permanently infested neighbour.

Mothernature Thu 03-Feb-05 11:33:32

Excluding children from school because they have head lice may cause anxiety and lead to bullying, according to new research.
The survey of over 200 pupils aged between seven and 12 years found one in 10 had been taunted for having head lice.

Head lice facts
Head lice cannot fly, hop or jump
They live on all kinds of hair
They are not dangerous
Lice are the insects, nits are the empty egg cases of the lice

More than one in six of those surveyed had felt upset by getting the infection and one in ten said it made them feel miserable.

The report found that over a fifth (22%) had taken time off school because of head lice, with 12% taking three days or more off.

But the study - Lousy time in the playground, by Lyclear Creme Rinse - says time of school will not in itself clear the infection, particularly if the source of the infection is from home rather than school.

'Nit nurse'

The report dismisses calls for the return of the school "nit nurse" phased out in the 1990s, saying this approach was often ineffective.

We must explode the myths about head lice

Oliver James, report co-author:

The report authors said checking for living lice was best done on wet hair, which was not a practical option for pupils going back into class.

It may take up to 20 minutes to check a child for living lice which would mean it would take up to 10 hours to thoroughly check a class of 30, the report said.

And to be at all effective, inspections would need to be carried out on a regular basis, but nit nurses may only be able to visit once a term, they added.

'Social stigma'

Joint author of the report and clinical psychologist Oliver James said: "Louse infection still carries a heavy social stigma."

"It is strongly associated with an inferior social status - in our imaginations only poor offspring of neglected parents are afflicted.

"It is taken as a sign of dirty, incompetent care. But above all it can be a trigger for bullying of children.

"We must explode the myths about head lice. Anyone with hair, clean or dirty, can be afflicted."

Caligula Thu 03-Feb-05 11:38:45

They talk about myths, but the fact is, no-one had headlice when I was growing up. Very, very occasionally somebody would get it, but it wasn't this permanent epidemic that it is now.

Even if you take into account that people were ashamed of it and didn't talk about it, so perhaps we are exaggerating how rare they were, I still don't think it was the permananent epidemic it is now.

I didn't get headlice until I was 38.

Carla Thu 03-Feb-05 11:39:58

Scotlou, my sister told me about that article and said she'd send it to me. It didn't make any sense at the time (loose hair having a wider surface area an' all) but now you've explained it it does make sense. Perhaps they give up on the scalp after the first foot of hair???

I'm so hacked off because I've eradicated them from dd1. DD2, however, is another story. I've got them down to a few tiny ones. She screams for the duration of the 1/2 hour it takes. She says 'that's enough' and dh (who has to be with me for several reasons says 'that's enough, you've been doing it for ages'. So what bl**dy chance do I have when I'm up against that

Easy Thu 03-Feb-05 11:44:33

Right, I've just talked to the office of our local school nurses (the nurse herself is at another school today).

The secretary there said that the school nurse community is equally frustrated with not being allowed to check, as the problem can't be eradicated if no-one points out to parents that their child has the problem.

I'm going to try to speak to the nurse herself tomorrow, see if she would like to support me in going to the headteacher with the Bug Busting stuff from Community Hygiene Concern, see if we can get any action at all that way.

Potty1 Thu 03-Feb-05 11:45:37

Lyclear Creme Rinse obviously have a vested interest in not bringing back the nit nurse

Carla Thu 03-Feb-05 11:45:44

Easy, do all schools have nurses? I haven't heard one mentioned at all at dds.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: