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Headlice


missmighty
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Anyone got some advice please. There are two children that attend our preschool who consistently have headlice. We do not check their hair, they have so many they are visible during play. we have spoken to parents (every week, now starting to be everyday they are here), given advice, leaflets, information etc. Parents say they are treating them everyday, tried various methods as well as bedcovers, siblings, parents etc but making no difference. Both these children are two years old. We are now getting complaints from other parents that their children are getting headlice every time they attend preschool and if other parents cant be bothered then they wont either. Like i said to the staff 'there is no more we can do', however, a colleague informed me she knows both the families outside preschool and does not believe they are treating their childrens hair. What else? if anything can i do? Please help

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I would be on the phone everyday for parents to come back and collect them....that's in our policy, if noticed you will be contacted to collect....is their health visitor aware ? Have they had 2 year check with HV, have you done their 2 yr check....I'd be inclined to include 'reoccurring headlice' on form, if parent doesn't like it they need to do something about it....to be continuous is neglect really...good luck

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Ask them to go and see the doctors as they will be able to give the most up to date advice about getting rid off them (this usually does the trick!) ...if necessary we have had to ask that the children come back when the hair is treated but it sounds like they are telling you that already. Tell them that non treatment is detrimental to their child ...it can cause tiredness and in some cases aneamia. Have they treated the whole family? or they will just be re-infecting each other? Remember that you may be the first person they have spoken to about this and that they have little knowledge of what to do....what product are they treating it with? can you see the bottle to make sure it is suitable ;)

somethings not working so either they are not doing it, are doing it badly or are re-infecting quickly

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I would also send them home if I saw them crawling in hair.Good advice from everyone already. Agree, if they are being treated,wonder if they are doing follow up dose and all family/bedding/towels etc? Agree, the enactments can be very costly. I would be interested if anyone knows if they are free for some families from Hv/Cc etc.

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Just a heads up (no pun intended!) we got in trouble for sending home a child with headlice because under HPA...

Should a child with head lice be kept off school?

  • No! The DfEE/DoH guidelines for infection control in schools and nurseries state that there is no need for a child who has head lice to stay away from school.
  • One reason for this is that if a child does have lice, he or she will have had them at school for several weeks before diagnosis.
  • Letters notifying other parents of cases have not been found to curtail spread but often provoke itching and anxiety as a psychological responseWe are not allowed to send children home with headlice, we call the parent but under health guidelines

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Just a heads up (no pun intended!) we got in trouble for sending home a child with headlice because under HPA...

Should a child with head lice be kept off school?

 

  • No! The DfEE/DoH guidelines for infection control in schools and nurseries state that there is no need for a child who has head lice to stay away from school.
  • One reason for this is that if a child does have lice, he or she will have had them at school for several weeks before diagnosis.
  • Letters notifying other parents of cases have not been found to curtail spread but often provoke itching and anxiety as a psychological responseWe are not allowed to send children home with headlice, we call the parent but under health guidelines

the HPA guidelines are just that guidelines . You are perfectly entitled to make your own rules as long as there is a reason and you have backed it up with policy. For instance i will send a child home who has conjunctivitis or it spreads through the pre-school like wildfire.

In America if they have a case of headlice they have to trace it back to child 0 !!!!!)im not suggesting this ...just find it interesting)

I really feel we have to make a stand on headlice (!) i was in a similar position with my younger daughter at school who was constantly being re-infected by her friend. It made her quite ill and we spent a fortune on lotions and potions (i ONLY bug bust now) It's not fair on your children or staff to let these children keep coming in. ,

My theory is if i keep going on about it they'll do something about it! <_<

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We have the HPA poster up but many of the ailments on it are astrixed with see policy as our exclusions/incubation periods are different to their guidelines ...we'd have them in with all sorts if we went by their recommendations.

 

And you could argue they've been contagious with chicken pox for a while before spots appear so why bother keeping them off then ...but we do

Edited by mouse63
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Thank you for all your replies. It used to be in our policies that we contacted parents and asked them to collect their child if live headlice were seen and treat them before they returned but was then informed by my EYA this could be classed as exclusion and would be unexceptable. The parents are telling me all the time they are treating them, one of them tells me she spends a fortune on treatment and the other says they have tried lotions. I should add one of the parents can get very angry very quickly including using swear words which i obviuosly want to avoid in front of the other children (although they are in another room when i speak to parents, this one does like to shout). I really do ont know what else to do. I have suggested doctors to them both too. It is very worrying as parents of children who have been attending for a long time and we have good professional relationships with are becoming very very unhappy.

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<p>I would ask that the parents ensure that any lice are combed out before the session, and if any live lice are seen. the child will be sent home. This shows that you are inclusive, whilst also protecting other children, whilst headlice%

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They are very clearly not treating the children every day because simple combing and conditioning wouldn't leave enough for them to be visible.

 

Could you set aside a room for these parents to bring the children into each morning so that a member of staff can support them in combing through their child's hair in the setting before they join the others? This can be done with just a decent nit comb like a Nitty Gritty or perhaps the parents could bring a spray on conditioner if their child has knotty/curly hair.

 

This wouldn't prevent reinfection from other family members but it would prevent them passing the on to other children and if it is done often enough should clear the infestations in the children concerned.

 

Alternatively you could ask for written permission for staff to comb them out each morning if anyone is willing to do this.

 

MY HEAD IS NOW ITCHING LIKE MAD!!!

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Firstly ..live lice or empty egg shells?

If live lice, i would go along the lines of ....You are very pleased that they are being treated... as non treatment may be considered as neglect... but clearly the family has built up a resistance to over the counter preparations (which are expensive!) And that they must contact the Dr for a prescription, offer to give them a letter to take to the Dr if they feel that's necessary .... list the detrimental effects the constant infestation is having on the children. Finally let them know that you will be contacting the health visitor, so she/he can arrange an appointment to give the family support/ training on effective combing techniques!

 

We follow HPA Guidelines and do not exclude.

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