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Head lice

School   (3,451 Views 6 Comments)
by Supernrse01 Supernrse01 (Member)

Supernrse01 has 18 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Gastroenterology, School Nrs.

15,079 Profile Views; 714 Posts

Just got off the phone with a parent upset because her son's classroom was not checked after "she requested it be done last week". No I did not check the class. I didn't check it because I had just checked the ENTIRE class a few short days before. All those little heads were clean when I checked them. She said she felt like if "the nurse wasn't going to check the students then a letter should be sent home to instruct the parents to check". Excuse me? What part of me saying I checked the classroom was hard to understand? Also, since when did it become uncommon knowledge that you should check your own kids for things like lice, fever, cough/cold, etc... I'm just venting here but really am frustrated with her comments. I hate when parents try and lay the blame on me. I didn't give your child head lice.

I want to send a letter home that just reminds parents that they should be checking their students at home for those little critters but I'm not sure how I want to word it. Do any of you have a letter? I have one that I send when I discover it here but it isn't really what I'm looking for.

Oh Mondays. :sour:

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dfs1961 has 5 years experience and specializes in Medical Surgical Telemetry.

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The only reason I would have to check an entire classroom is if I found an active case of lice in that classroom. That is in accordance with my school district's policy. I don't do things because of a parent's request. I am busy enough. Stand behind your school's policy and tell her to pound sand.

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mc3 has 12 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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Yes, head lice is a very touchy subject. Parents do seem to forget that they are the first line defense in checking and treating for lice, not the school. Some have a hard time with this concept! Our policy is the teachers do a quick check on Monday morning. If someone has them, or the teacher is unsure, they send them to me. I think Mom is unloading on you because she feels guilty. The school, teacher, nurse etc. have all been blamed by certain parents in my school. Everyone else seems responsible, except for them..:banghead: Are you sure your school doesn't have a student handbook, or policy handbook that is given to parents? If it's not in there, it should be. Our student handbook is located on the school's website as well as county website and it clearly states the parent is the first line of defense in combating head lice.

Take it all in stride.....

mc3:nurse:

Edited by mc3
forgot something

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I understand that I am fortunate to have worked in a district that (for the most part) supported evidence based practice and declined to kowtow to ridiculous parental demands.

Let's find a way to explain this to parents that perhaps they will understand and respect: When a child is called out sick with strep throat, do you get out the flashlight and check the entire class? Obviously not. Why not? After all, strep is far more contagious and far more potentially seriously to the health of the school population than head lice.

Nor do we strip kids to check for chicken pox spots, take temps for the flu, or gaze into 30 pairs of eyes looking for "pinkness," Even if we took complete leave of our senses and did these silly things, we would not violate privacy and confidentiality by sending an unnecessary and intrusive letter to every household in the class or grade level.

Time to educate the administration and parents on current public health and pediatric standards of care and the appropriate practice of the school nurse. Checking heads went out with leg warmers.

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From another recent thread about head lice:

Jolie is exactly right.

And this issue comes up so often we should make a stickie with links. Here are parts of some of the many threads here about this issue:

"Pediculosis is considered a nuisance disease as well as an infestation. It is not an emergency! Siblings of children with headlice should have a head check. Classroom head checks need only be done if there are more than two known cases in the class. An information letter should be sent home if there are more than 5 or 6 cases in a school at a given time. This information can also be sent in the school newsletter."

NASN (National Association of School Nurses) Statement:

[COLOR=#003366]Pediculosis

A free webinar:

[COLOR=#003366]http://backtoschool.webcast.prihcs.com/home.html

Why were my children sent home from school and why do they have a 'no nits' policy? The no-nits policies, variously drafted and adopted by school administrations, are supposedly designed to reduce the transmission of lice by excluding infested children from school. Whereas these policies may be meritorious in principle, they are virtually always counterproductive when applied. School nurses are generally amongst the most capable to spot signs of infestation, but often lack the expertise, time and equipment to distinguish active from inactive infestations. School personnel and parent volunteers often conduct mass-screenings in misguided and failed attempts to identify infested children and ensure their treatment. Concerned parents, nurses and school administrators may find it valuable to cooperate by helping to draft rational policies. The discovery of lice or their eggs on the hair should not cause the child to be sent home or isolated. Furthermore, treatment is not indicated if the infestation is not active.. . . . . . . . . . .

[COLOR=#003366]https://identify.us.com/idmybug/head...AQS/index.html

Here is that thread:

https://allnurses.com/school-nursing/nasty-parents-opportunity-793110.html

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Supernrse01 has 18 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, Gastroenterology, School Nrs.

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I agree whole-heartedly with all of you and I am so glad that you are here and readily available to understand my vents! We do have a handbook that details the parental responsibility and I also sent a letter home reminding parents of that responisbility. Jolie, you made great points about the screenings of the other more potential health threats. Thank you ;)

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