So we are slightly at odds in my district. There is a push coming from some of the SNs to not necessarily send a student home right away for treatment for lice. The thought process is that the students probably had lice for an appreciable time before the discovery and that the social implications of being sent home has caused unnecessary violations in confidentiality - which it has - kids tell their parents that Jimmy and Sally got sent home after being checked for lice - the parents went as far as to post on facebook (and name names of the kids that had lice). So the new manner of thinking is to inform parents at the end of the day and send infested students back to class.
I just wanted to put it out there to get some feedback. I'll go into my own thoughts on this after hearing some of yours.
Jan 31, '12
I am with the AAP on this one. "No healthy child should be excluded from or miss school because of head lice, and no nit policies for return to school should be abandoned". (Source:HealthyChildren.org - AAP Offers Updated Guidance on Treating Head Lice
I think some parents, and some teachers even more so, make a big deal over head lice in schools. Unless kids are spending a lot of their school day head-to-head, they are likely not being transmitted at school. More likely culprits are slumber parties or visits with cousins/other relatives. I think it is time school nurses stand up and advocate for our kids and to get policies changed and keep kids in school!
Jan 31, '12
I totally agree, notify the parent and let them take care of it when the child gets home. Kids have a hard enough time at school, without being ostracized for having lice. It really is time to let go of the stigma and just do what is right for the students.
Jan 31, '12
That's been the trend. Kids would miss too much school and less ADA money.
Plus, I've linked this before but it is very helpful to combat the myths some of the teachers still fear.
(Look especially at "Why were my children sent home?")
Jan 31, '12
Lice don't jump and thus aren't communicable in the school setting, so no legitimate reason to exclude.
The only exception (in my mind) is a case where the child is itching so badly as to be unable to concentrate in class. Even then it is a matter of student comfort, not transmission.
Steph has included good references which are based on scientific information rather than myth and tradition.
Feb 1, '12
i am in agreeance - i think the social stigma especially paired with the fact that some of the parents were krass enough to name names speaks for itself!
The debate come in with the idea of requesting treatment and performing a recheck. The district is still requesting those two steps be done and the fear among some is that the parents will not work as hard to ensure their kids are properly treated.
So the next thought process is... do we even require a treatment and a rescreen? Since we are movving away from nit free policies and are getting more comfortable with the idea of choosing academics over eradication of pests - is it even something we need to include in our realm?
My thought on that is to still request a treatment, and if there is significant infestation, to require a parent to be present should teh student be rechecked and still found to have lice. The purpose of having the parent present to is complete the opportunity to educate the parent on how to properly treat. I will always want the parnets to treat - even if it's simply by just combing out the hair. That i will not waver on. But - it can be done after school.
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