Lice Yikes!!!!!

Specialties School


:rolleyes: Does anyone out there have any good advice on elimination of Lice in our schools? I have several cases same family (cousins etc.) for several years now, we have done home visits and classes to the family and given free treatments and everything, even have gotten our school social worker involved. I don't know what else to do. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!! Have even told them about olive oil, mayo etc. Any advice would be more than appreciated.;)


9 Posts

The only thing our school district has found is that we have a Nit Free policy. If you are battling this pesky devil you must be checked before you come back to school and then periodically for a few weeks. I offer head checks to all family members. The administration backs us up because it works. We've only had a few parents not take this seriously and their children were not admitted back until free -even if it took a week or two. One family was taken to court by the district-and yes I had to testfy!! and threatened with DSS removing the kids before they cleaned up their house and heads. Apparently the parents had a zoo in their heads -they refused to let me check. It was awful for all involved but it finally worked. I hope no one else ever has to go to this extreme. Other tricks:vacuum all furniture and bedding, throw out pillows, hair brushes, hats, scarves, barrettes. Wash and dry _HOT-backpacks, coats,vacuum the car! Hairdryer to hair daily-and all long hair in ponytails!! Good luck!!


23 Posts

Well we do have a no nit policy in our county but sometimes our principal doesn't always back me about this because of absentism. I do all the stuff you do, nothing different. So I was asking if anyone had anything different to try. Also these children that chronic are kept out of school until they are clear and free, but they continue to get them.


9 Posts

You must be sooooo frustrated !!! why don't you call DSS? You are a mandated reporter-- these children are at risk. This is negligence in the least and child abuse at worse. Your principal may not like this but you are a mandated reporter!! Is there any other support out there for you?? As I stated earlier we took the family to court and it was the judge who threatened to remove them if things didn't clear in two weeks. And guess who had to determine that?? ME! talk about an awful position to be in. I didn't want them to be removed from the home!!! however I had a school district that backed up the policy. Maybe that is an idea. Talk to the school committee-- Tell them that- what is the use of a policy they won't back up? Are there other nurses that you can work with?? Best of luck to you keep me posted.


23 Posts

I got the District social worker involved and she has done a home visit, not much else done. Also DSS in our county sucks and they won't take a report for Lice, even though I think it is a neglect issue. I don't know what to do.


3 Posts

Head Lice became my obsession after a few students with resistant cases! I did alot of research and wrote a pamphlet (seven pages long) for parents to help them rid their child's hair of those nasty little critters! It has all the basics of treatment, but goes into much more detail because some parents just don't know what they are in for...or just don't get it! I do this in a step-by-step approach, basically spell it all out in black and white. If you are dealing with resistant head lice, then over-the-counter shampoos will not help the child. I do recommend some homeopathic methods such as olive oil, etc...but encourage parents to seek medical advice, especially, from a pediatric dermatologist who should be up to date on the latest and most effective treatments...such as Elemite Cream (like Nix, but stronger) and oral Bactrim...which is very effective in killing lice. Another oral med is being looked into...Ivermectin. I, also, give numbers for The National Pediculosis Association and a few other resources for parents. A no-nit policy helps. A parent gets a little more serious when a child is being sent home for the third or fourth day!! I will send you the pamphlet if you'd like....



23 Posts

SUZY QUE, I do appreciate all the information I am sure it will be very helpful. Yes I would love the pamphlet. We have done the Olive Oil etc. These parents are just really nasty and non-caring people.


18 Posts

also when they are back at school, bag clothes for 2 weeks in plastic bag, make sure the family takes care of the bedding. I bet more than one is sleeping in the same bed. Sometimes families shift work.We had one family I finally cut the kids hair(Principal said OK)-got the last few nits out and then stringent follow up.


5 Posts

With the on going problem of lice, and every school district different in the way they handle this problem, I have discovered a great new device that works beautifully in the removal of nits and lice. The best part is that it works without the use of chemicals. It is a comb called "Lice Meister". It has a boilable handle which makes it reusable. The cost is about $10.00 per comb and may be ordered through your clinic supplier. If I have a student who is a chronic carrier of the pest, and all else fails, I have them comb their hair in my clinic with the comb. You have not used chemicals nor done anything to violate their privacy. It works very well. I have even given these combs to some families to use on other family members. I have been very impressed with the results. Good luck and I hope this will help some of you have a better school year (or whats left of it).


1 Post

I have been a nurse for a long time, but a school nurse for only 3 years. I had never seen a louse before becoming a school nurse. I have done mega research on the topic. From what I have read, if you close the house up for 3 days, the lice will die because they MUST have human blood to live. After you convince the family to do this, have them immediately treat their heads and wash what clothing they have brought with them in hot soapy water and dry on HOT in the dryer. Don't forget the car, because they can get into the upholstry of the car and the carpet. Their are some really good new products on the market that are not as dangerous and use more natural products that repel "bugs" with flowers and plants that have a natural repellent to insects. Right now I can't remember the name, but the company sent me information (and I am assuming did so to many school nurses). You also do not need to encourage the purchase of brand name lice spray for homes, as any type of flea spray or bomb seems to be just as effective. Make sure that the computer lab at each school takes precautions with the head phones, as I had an epidemic caused by them!

On the subject of how to convence a family you are serious. Because repeated treatments cause repeated absences, the judge here will put the parent in jail for truancy of the student. New laws passed here make the parent responsible for their child when they are under age and do not attend school. In stubborn cases that has worked VERY well. Parents don't seem to like jail much, and their children have to stay in foster care while they are in jail. I had one kindergarden child miss 45 days this year and MOM and DAD got the message when the judge put them in jail every weekend for a month! The "no nit" policy does not seem to sit well with physicians, who believe the nits are dead after one treatment---but it is a must for a school to keep down epidemics!

I had one child who had had them on and off for 4 years ask someone to take her to the Department of Human Resources (Welfare Department) and ask to be removed from the home because she was so sick of having lice and she was embarrassed. That woke up her family, and they have been "clean" since then.

nursedawn67, LPN

1,046 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.

Now that I'm done itching! :) All this lice talk makes me itch. :eek:

Remind the school the importance of not sharing headphones (commonly used for reading/listening to stories) My daughters class (years ago) provided plastic bags with the string ties to each of the students in that class to put their coats, hats and mittens and things in to help prevent cross contamination. Also the health department is very good at helping with info and tx.

It is a shame that more places don't adopt the policy that the county I was in Tenn had, if the kid missed too many days with no excuse and or was not in school they started to go after the parents. Many thought differently about keeping the kids home for ANY reason.


10 Posts

In our county the kids only get 3 days of excused absence for headlice. When you realize that the louse has been around as long as mankind you will understand that we will never be completely free of them. BUT, we can control the outbreaks by identifing problem families, killing the lice, cleaning the enviroment, and removing all the nits; followed by bi-weekly headchecks done by the parent at home. The schools should not be expected to assume parental responsibility for the entire process of lice patrol. It is the school nurses' responsibility to assess and educate then evaluate. And remember,the main responsibility lies with the family, not the school.

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