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'Excluded' for nits - is this acceptable?

(188 Posts)
weblette Mon 21-Oct-13 21:58:41

Posting on behalf of a friend although ds3 has been 'affected' too.

Ds3's yr1 has a problem with nits - or parents not treating...
Goodness knows I know about it, despite combing all of my four every week, he always has a new adult or five on a Sunday night.

Friend was called by school on Thursday am - "she has nits, come and collect her" - told to take her home for the day. Friend had combed dd at the weekend, cleared a few so head was nitless but now had several large adults. Luckily she wasn't working so took dd home, wet combed, applied lotions, head nit-free. However her dd had to stay at home for the day.

Next morning, call from school - we've found a nit in her fringe, come and collect her again. Not withstanding the fact that adults don't just drop out of a child's head and she had no others, was any of this legal?

With 4 dcs I understand completely how utterly frustrating it is to have untreated nits in a year group. I've lost count of the the hours wasted tbh...

However to me it sounds so very dodgy on so many fronts - there is nothing on the school website about sending a child home if they have nits. How can they justify a child losing a day's education on that basis?

Friend is fuming and wants to know how best to approach the school about this. Please don't say 'check for nits more regularly', we all do atm...

getmeoutofthismadhouse Mon 21-Oct-13 22:06:49

When my dd started school the talk we had bought up headlice. Apparently "they can't look through a childs hair but if they see a louse in a childs hair they will phone home and ask if parents want to come for said child to treat them but this isn't an order , they can't apparently enforce this " . This is what the teacher told us parents .

ReallyTired Mon 21-Oct-13 22:16:54

Good on the school for excluding a child with nits. Your friend needs to make more effort to get rid of the nits. If there are lots of large adult nits then she obviously has not made sufficient effort to delouse her child. Sometimes excluding a child for a day is the only way a school can make parents sit up and make an effort to delouse their child.

It is perfectly possible to rid a child of nits, but it is hard work. I suspect that your friend is not fine tooth combing her child's head property or prehaps she is leaving in the eggs. It takes me about half an hour to fine tooth comb my daughter's hair. You need to comb it through in small sections and not miss any strands.

It is really easy to miss the eggs and I could understand if the following day your friend found a tiny hatching. However if there are large adults then clearly she has made no effort.

I suggest your friend applies a different anti nit shampoo. She then needs to fine tooth comb her daugher's hair with tea tree oil conditioner and a nitty gritty combe everyday. (the conditioner needs to be out on very liberally so that the adults are trapped) Once the nits have gone then she needs to do an maintaince comb with conditioner twice a week

ReallyTired Mon 21-Oct-13 22:18:49

I suggest you offer to fine tooth your friends' hair. Often the parents are the source of nits in the family as there is no one to fine tooth comb the mother's hair.

Deathbyladybirds Mon 21-Oct-13 22:21:13

Friend is clearly taking preventative action there's clearly other offenders in the class

InnitTogether Mon 21-Oct-13 22:28:42

ReallyTired how about the possibility these big adult lice are coming across on to OP's friend's child that day, so no matter how carefully she clears them, new ones will crawl in once she gets to school...

onepieceoflollipop Mon 21-Oct-13 22:34:29

If the friend is combing effectively, then I suspect what Innit says is true.

My dd last year in year one had similar issues. I would check and comb her and her sister every Friday and be positive both were clear. dd2 would be clear until Monday, then For about 3-4 weeks running she had 2 or 3 massive adults on her head. No eggs or other signs. I had a thread about this at the time. I knew for a fact several other parents never checked their dcs. I was sure that the adult lice were walking from her friend's head to her own, I checked so regularly they never had chance to lay eggs let alone hatch new lice.

gamerchick Mon 21-Oct-13 22:39:13

The average head can only hold so many lice. They are surprisingly smart. Once the threshold has been reached they will drop off the head and have around 24 hours to find a new host. The best place is somewhere at chest height (like a cinema seat) they follow the heat line up the body to the hair.

The documentary I watched was 15 lice Introduced to the chest of one person..
They made their way to the head and 2 other people joined heads and each ended up with 5 lice each... and so on. When there is so many lice then the big adults have to drop off.

Somebody is re infecting that bairn or the whole household is infected. Maybe the teacher needs to have a look in her own hair.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 21-Oct-13 22:42:33

gamerchick, that was itchily interesting! smile

Yogurthoney Mon 21-Oct-13 22:47:36

when i was young, my school asked our parents to wash our hair with white vinegar in the water. They reckoned it was working.

ReallyTired Mon 21-Oct-13 22:47:53

InnitTogether Why is it that not every child in the land is infested with headlice? To put it politely it is utter bullshit to blame other children when one child permamently has nits. Some children rarely get nits and if they do then their parents catch the infestation early before it becomes nit city.

Almost every primary school class has at least one child permamently infested. Yet there are children who do not suffer with nits in the same class. It is perfectly possible to keep a child nit free, but some parents aren't prepared to put in the necessary work or prehaps don't know how to fine tooth comb their child's hair.

Nit potions do not work on their own as nits are resilent. They do have a place in taking out 95% of an infestation. This video shows you how to fine tooth comb property.


IDoAllMyOwnStunts Mon 21-Oct-13 22:51:21

That's fascinating gamerchick - I'd love to have seen that documentary - the wasted hours of my life on my knees in the bathroom combing through hair. At one point I was thinking of sending DD to school in a swimming hat as a preventive measure grin
I did an experiment <<obsessed>> when I caught a nit alive on tissue and kept it to see how long it would live. 24 hours later I offered it a hair and the little bastard crawled onto it. I always thought they needed a head to live on to survive, apparently not.

OP - just a thought is your friend washing pillows etc at same time as nit combing?

5madthings Mon 21-Oct-13 22:55:40

Nits aren't resiliant to new not treatments as they work by coating and suffocating the nits.

I always just comb mine but you can be clear and then get one or two new big nits but no eggs, I comb twice weekly to check and of I find any I comb everyday for a good fortnight.

I didn't think it was legal to send a child home for its.

I once read a statistic that in most schools at any one time almost 50%of kids will have nits!

gamerchick Mon 21-Oct-13 22:57:26

I'm positive it was a channel 4 thing but it was a few years ago now. I'll see if I can find it tomorrow.. freakingly fascinating.

You have to hoover beds.. change the covers and hoover sofas and whatnot if you have large ripe lice.

I sympathies.. It only takes one parent who isn't bothered and you have to have a comb through every night if there is one.

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Mon 21-Oct-13 22:59:31

Following on from my post Link here - nits can live up to a day without a host

DuckToWater Mon 21-Oct-13 23:12:42

DD1 got nits before she started school as a toddler, is now in Y4 but has never had them since, and DD2 has never had them either. It's not through doing anything special on my part though!

eddiemairswife Mon 21-Oct-13 23:54:09

This was never a problem when my children were at school, but my grandchildren have had them.

NoComet Tue 22-Oct-13 00:02:41

They are annoying , but harmless and certainly not worth sending DC hope for.

Also it's totally unfair as nits are easy to spot in DD2's hair and impossible in DD1's which is long thick and darker.

lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 22-Oct-13 00:07:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dizzyday07 Tue 22-Oct-13 00:46:11

When DD was in infant school there were children in her class that you could see had nits. One boy even announced in front of everybody that he was madly scratching his head because he had them!

Due to their young age, sitting with heads together etc, and despite sending her in with tied up hair ad wearing a bandana, we still had periods of having the treat the ones that she had picked up.

Apparently the school weren't "allowed" to single out any specific child in the way you describe them doing with you. It was really frustrating knowing that these poor children weren't being treated and it affected both them and others

prh47bridge Tue 22-Oct-13 00:57:26

Children cannot legally be excluded or sent home for having nits. See here for guidance from one of the teachers unions.

steppemum Tue 22-Oct-13 01:31:36

dd1 got them all the time in reception. Always just one or two adults, never any eggs.
No-one else in the family ever got them. I had to comb her all the time.

The reason? One girl in the class who was crawling. I tied dds hair up tightly and warned her not to sit head to head etc. I helped out in the school, and listened to this little girl read and could see the layers of nits eggs going down the length of the hair...

dd stopped getting them so badly when she was moved onto another table away form this girl.

All the parents in the class we sick of it. It was a small school, and the PTA were offering to fund the lice solution for every parent.
I was a parent governor and they came to me and said can the school not do ANYTHING?
Head said I will have a think. No idea what she did but little girl came in on Monday with clean hair in a lovely new hairstyle.

reallytired, I think you underestimate how quickly the adults walk back on to a clean head when someone is badly infected.
And all through school, ds, (and I) have never ever caught them, dd2 has had them once and dd1 gets them whenever they are around. I comb them the same, dd1 is much much more prone to them for reasons I don't understand. Some kids do get them more often. It isn't only the parents good coming habits responsible

steppemum Tue 22-Oct-13 01:37:24

nit treatments are 2 types

1 = medicated - kills them with chemicals and are pretty strong. They do become resistant to these. They are usually the overnight solutions.

2= oil based ones that work by suffocating the lice. You usually leave them on for 15 minutes and then wash off. They don't become resistant to this one.

It is recommended that you only use treatments if you actually find a live adult, otherwise comb with conditioner.

HerRoyalNotness Tue 22-Oct-13 01:51:22

We've been throughg this several times with DS and the whole family had infestation at one point. Since I read on MN to spray diluted lavender oil on his hair every day he hasn't had them since.

We've just moved to the US and have been told that the school can make your child stay off for Two weeks(!) if they have headlice. Mind, they are uptight about a lot of things here

steppemum Tue 22-Oct-13 01:53:35

there is a vosene shampoo and spray with tea tree oil which is supposed to repel them, but I don't like the smell of it!

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