Lice checks

  1. When I started working for our district, we were doing lice checks every other week for K-8 and a firm no nit policy. I provided information and did manage to decrease checks once a month for K-8 and a still firm no nit policy. I'm beginning my 6th year here. We have a new principal this year and I've tried talking to her about lice checks, but she said she's read it and we're still doing checks. She states she has discussed with our superintendent. This is ridiculous especially for 6-8 students. Anyone have an ideas on any other ways I go can with this?
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    About scout mom, RN

    Joined: Mar '15; Posts: 35; Likes: 75

    19 Comments

  3. by   OldDude
    Maybe approach it from the angle of you not having a legitimate reason for touching and examining a child's scalp without some complaint from that child. Student comes to you complaining of their head itching...you look at their scalp. So, every interaction we have as a school nurse arises from a complaint or an observation that offers a health concern. We don't just walk up to a student and do a physical examination just to see if there is anything abnormal - couple that with lice not being a health hazard and you add another layer to the "why would a nurse do that?"

    Our district was in the process of being sued for just this reason...unauthorized head check by one of our school nurses. The case was settled before it went to trial but we don't do classroom head checks anymore and we don't exclude kids from school for head lice.

    Best of luck!!
  4. by   scout mom
    Good point. It's just so frustrating. There was a lice issue 10 or 15 years ago & they can't let go of it. Do they not follow current academic recommendations because there was a previous issue?! It makes no sense!
  5. by   MHDNURSE
    Print out these two documents and tell her that your school is not following the current recommendations! It is completely insane that they would make you do lice chaecks on every kid. I would be livid as a parent. I can't even screen a kid for vision without a signed consent, forget about doing a lice check!

    Also check your state and local board of health websites- those should have info as well. Our local school health board specifically says kids cannot be excluded from school for lice. Yours might as well. Good luck!


    AAP Updates Treatments for Head Lice

    CDC - Lice - Head Lice - Schools
  6. by   plainfieldguy
    And be sure to mention the loss of instructional time that is needed to complete the lice checks. Administrators don't like to hear about that....
  7. by   kidzcare
    It's also a privacy violation. If you are doing a class-wide lice check and all of a sudden Johnny goes home, the kids will surmise that Johnny has lice.
  8. by   scout mom
    I have provided them with the AAP, CDC & NASN handouts. & I have also pointed out the HIPAA violation. It hasn't helped at all. Grrr!
  9. by   ABRN2012
    Quote from scout mom
    I have provided them with the AAP, CDC & NASN handouts. & I have also pointed out the HIPAA violation. It hasn't helped at all. Grrr!
    I am in your same boat. So I feel for you. I provided all the new recommendations and had several meetings with the superintendent last year only to come back this year and they revised our policy to now be "nit free". I wanted to just walk out when I read it. Do they not listen to anything I say. I just went to the principles and told them that lice is the last thing on my radar and not a medical problem. You do not go to the hospital for lice therefore why is this a nursing issue. I explained that I am not doing overall head checks and if teachers want a student checked then they can check them. I recheck when they return to school and educate parents.
  10. by   ABRN2012
    Quote from OldDude
    "

    Our district was in the process of being sued for just this reason...unauthorized head check by one of our school nurses. The case was settled before it went to trial but we don't do classroom head checks anymore and we don't exclude kids from school for head lice.

    Best of luck!!
    Wow! A lawsuit! Thats crazy. I would love to hear more about how this came about. Did the parents feel that their child was being singled out? I have tried to tell my admin this very thing but they do not get it.
  11. by   Jedrnurse
    Quote from scout mom
    I have provided them with the AAP, CDC & NASN handouts. & I have also pointed out the HIPAA violation. It hasn't helped at all. Grrr!
    HIPAA doesn't apply to schools, it would be FERPA. (Not sure what how those regs would land on this particular scenario...)
  12. by   scout mom
    Quote from Jedrnurse
    HIPAA doesn't apply to schools, it would be FERPA. (Not sure what how those regs would land on this particular scenario...)
    Yes, I meant FERPA.
  13. by   LibraSunCNM
    As a parent I would also be livid that my child's classroom time was being so needlessly interrupted so frequently, and for such a ridiculous reason, in addition to the embarrassment/privacy/lack of consent issues. Do you feel like the parents at your school are supportive of the policy?
  14. by   OldDude
    Quote from ABRN2012
    Wow! A lawsuit! Thats crazy. I would love to hear more about how this came about. Did the parents feel that their child was being singled out? I have tried to tell my admin this very thing but they do not get it.
    The elementary age child came home from school and told her parents her head was checked for lice. They objected...seriously objected, for the reasons discussed in this thread.

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