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Watchout Headlice About!


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How do you deal with cases of headlice, just had an encounter with a parent who denies her child has headlice, during circle time i noticed several live ones crawling across his head!!!

 

We don't have a 'nit' policy, how do you all deal with this do you send them home?

 

Advice please, itch itch :D

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sensitively I suppose :o

could you post a general notice stating "WATCH OUT - NITS ABOUT" and include some general information. Most parents are quick to check their child if they think that its somebody else who has it.

There is an infection poster that can be viewed and downloaded off the internet.

 

 

But be aware that you cannot exclude chidlren for having nits.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Background information supporting the

advice in this poster, and a list of other

sources of information, can be found on

the PHLS website at www.phls.co.uk

From March 1999 schools can obtain

further information through the

‘Wired for Health’ website at

www.wiredforhealth.gov.uk accessed via

the National Grid for Learning (NGfL).

 

Hope this helps

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We do talk to the parents, very often they are not aware they are there. if they are denying it, you just migt have to show them!! The we usually send out a general letter, informing all parents there have been incidences in school and to check their child's hair. We do suggest that they take their child home and return after treatment but Im not sure you can actually exclude them, especially in the state sector.

 

We have also frequently had the school nurse in to talk to the parents too.

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Jo,

 

Our official policy is that we send children home if we are aware of "active" infestation (i.e. live headlice). In practice, we don't.

 

We do ask parents (when they collect the child) not to bring them in again until they have been treated. This is often a difficult subject to broach, and as you say, parents can be in complete denial.

 

My youngest child (now 10) had headlice time, after time, after time when she was in reception and year 1. The lice were coming from the same reservoir of infection each time (one child in her year group whose mother could not see any purpose in eradicating the problem in her own child). It is noticeable that in our setting it is the same children who get head lice repeatedly. For some reason, certain children are more prone than others.

 

I approach parents of affected children quite diplomatically, I think, and I volunteer information on my own experience (it also helps that I am a qualified pharmacist and can point people in the right direction for effective, but child-friendly treatments). If parents are made to feel that it is a "socially acceptable" problem to have, and if it can be discussed openly, there is far less chance of them denying its existence.

 

I also feel able to help parents identify the problem. If someone has never seen a headlouse or nits, how can they be confident that they are "inspecting" their children properly. We give a free detector comb to each new parent (it is included in their info pack, togther with a page of advice - obtained via a HV). I frequently offer to help a parent check their child (in the privacy of the cloakroom, after session), and this offer is generally accepted.

 

We put up notices from time to time when appropriate ("Headlice are about"), and this can precipitate open discussion between parents and staff. With the benefit of my own experiences, I can advise parents of the importance of them talking to other parents about it (i.e. the parents of their children's contacts), so that they are not treating their own children repeatedly in vain.

 

The other main piece of advice that I always give to parents is "brush and comb your child's hair thoroughly and often". The rationale for this is "to break their legs so they can't lay eggs". In effect, if a mature louse has crawled onto a child's head (they can only crawl, incidentally, so "head to head contact" is needed to pass them on) during a pre-school session, and the parent brushes and combs the child's hair when they get home, there is a reasonable chance that the louse would be incapacitated. The detector comb is very effective at either removing or injuring lice in tangle-free hair.

 

Unfortunately, headlice are always going to be with us from time to time!!

 

Diane (off to comb my hair right now, :o ).

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Another good link we used recently to revamp our school letter is www.chc.org/bugbusting

 

We encouraged a bug bust on a whole school basis to come back with clean heads after the Easter hols. Don't know how successful it was but we've had a lot less cases over the past half term.

 

Angela

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diane

 

I was under the impression that we were not allowed to send or exclude chidlren as it is not a contagious or infectious condition.

 

It could be considered Discrimination and breach of human rights I was imformed, but perhaps it was wrong information.

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There is a very useful booklet on the under5's website that can be used and printed out.

 

 

http://www.underfives.co.uk/Head%20Lice.pdf

 

 

I didn't think you could prevent children coming to preschools with headlice these days. If we did at ours, only half the children would be coming in sometimes and it would be same children missing out!!!!!

 

 

Ally

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I guess that's a valid point Ally, you can't have half the class off!

 

I tried to deal with the situation with diplomacy, humor and tact, this particular parent seemed fine fine when I spoke to her face to face, but rang up when she got home to have a rant about it! She claimed the lice crawled on during the session, which as I spotted them early on could not have been the case as he wasn't sitting next to anyone else but me :o I don't think he got them from me but i'm quite itchy now!!!

 

I guess you can't send them home, but surely leaving them in a class of children for a whole session could end up infesting the rest of the class and perpetuating the problem?

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Unfortunately, it is what happens in schools jo365 and whole classes CAN become infested!

 

All we can do is try and educate the parents/ carers. It always seems to me that it is the parents with their first child who are the least co-operative in the beginning, probably because they have never experienced them before.

 

And I'm itching now as well! :DxD

 

I have a nit comb in my shower and use it every morning with conditioner without fail - just in case the little things come my way!!!! :o

 

Ally

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We are quite often told about a problem with nits by parents-we don't seem to have any issues here. We send a letter home to parents to let them know that there are nits about. We advise them how to treat their child and that local chemists will be able to help also. The letter also includes a note that the best way is prevention. So if they brush their child's hair on a regular basis, ie every day, then there shouldn't be a problem. Some of the children look as though they haven't had a brush near their hair for days!!!

Linda

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This is probably in one of the links, but headlice lay eggs at night only. So comb your hair before bed rather than in the morning. I suffered repeatedly last year - same kind of problems as you lot! Once I started combing every night I always caught the one or two that had crawled on, and they never seemed to have laid any eggs at all!! :o

 

Dianne xxx

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Hi Leo

 

I was told the same ... that we are not suposed to directly approach the parent of a child with nits and I was also told we are not allowed to go looking through childrens hair. If we have nits we put a note in our newsletter to all parents. Our school was also advised to do the same thing.

 

Carol

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Carol,

 

I remember this being a big issue when my daughter was in y1 in England. There were repeated cases of headlice for the whole year and everyone knew that it was one little girl in particular who was carrying them. However, the school said that they were not allowed to inspect childrens hair anymore. All they could do was inform parents about a case if someone told them their child had them. Things got quite heated between parents in this particular case and the head had to step in to separate two mums. :o

 

In Scotland this has gone one stage further. Schools are being told they cannot even tell parents there has been a case of headlice but they are allowed to send out leaflets etc educating parents about what to do. I think it has something to do with human rights. Didn't say anything because I didn't know what the situation was in England. xD

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exactly my point- you cannot target individual children or families as this would lead to more problems. I prefer to send out what we jokingly call

"NIT NOTES"- for all carers to be vigilant and that way no one is specifically singled out.

Parents seem to take the nit notices in good humour and there has not been a problem as such within the nursery.

 

One parent who is a hairdresser printed out some information which is pinned on the nursery notice board for anybody to take away or to read through

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  • 2 weeks later...

So let me get this right, you have not to speak to the child's parent if you suspect they have head lice? I cant say i have ever heard of this before and i must admit when we have had cases of it we have spoke directly to the parents and havent had any hassle (so far) xD

 

The thing is parents can be very irresponsible at times, last half term we had 2 children in and a colleague spotted that they had headlice (not routing) this colleague asked the children if there head was itchy at all and one of the children replied back 'yes we have headlice but my mum told us not to tell you'. Now can you imagine how cross this made us that they knew there children had headlice and were putting the whole out of school club at risk including staff? So i felt i had to speak to this parent advising them that it can be passed on very easily and quickly, if i had of not spoke to her face to face how many more times would she of sent her children in knowing they had headlice? :o

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