Nasty Parents and This Opportunity to Vent - page 2
I've had quite a few run-ins with a parent this school year. First it was about being out of compliance with vaccinations...mom came into my office screaming and cursing (with students in the... Read More
Oct 24, '12To the OP: frankly, I think I'd be guilty of saying something regrettable to that miserable woman! There's always someone who takes her own guilt and blame and heaps it on someone else....hate that.
As for the fifteen bucks, I'd be haranguing anyone I could in order to get reimbursed NOW. That's total BS!
Oct 29, '12Finally got the money refunded! Ridiculous that I had to buy it myself because a parent 'demanded' it right then and there. No more lice with that kiddo but the other day she "sprained her ankle" and started crying while getting on the bus so the bus driver sent her to me and took off without her...since she was under my care I had to call the mom and what a shock, it was all my fault the mom didn't have a car and couldn't come and get the girl...she told me to tell her daughter to suck it up!! Umm..no.
As for the lice policies, yes they can transfer fairly easily through head-to-head contact which is why we keep them home with live lice but we do encourage 'secret handshakes' instead of hugs and keep belongings stored away from others. As for a child itching to the point of bleeding, most itching doesn't occur until the infestation has gotten significantly bad. If the itching is that bad, that's on the parents for not checking their child's hair because they will see something if the child has a reason to be itching that bad. Parents should be actively involved in the grooming of their children, especially in my school which is K-2. All parents should know about lice and regularly check their school-aged children. Children can miss a lot of school if their parents keep them home until their hair is completely clear of nits as well as live lice, especially if the infestation is advanced. I appreciate the efforts of a parent that keeps their child home though because at least then it's known that action is being taken against the lice.
Oct 29, '12Quote from RNsRWeWell, it isn't just school nurses. The CDC, Health and Human Services (formerly known as Public Health), The National Association of School Nurses (and the state school nurse organizations), The American Academy of Pediatrics, etc., all agree. Not to mention that great website where you can get all your questions answered on a myriad of subjects. See below:I'm genuinely surprised--and not happily--that there are school nurses who feel a lice infestation is NOT a reason to keep a child out of public school? Honestly?
It isn't easily transmittable between classmates? Not likely in older students, but younger ones seem to manage to always have their heads together at play or at a group project, lose their hats and grab someone else's by mistake, same with jackets--I've seen it plenty in the K-3 set (as a parent in the classroom).
I don't care if it's not a "health risk" by the definitions cited; it's a highly contagious insect infestation that can cause intense discomfort--not just to the original child but to every entire household that is placed at risk for infestation. How about the child who scratches until he bleeds? Perhaps the risk of infection might be a concern?
I'm no psycho mom, but I'm quite certain that if there's a child who is allowed to stay in school and therefore allowed to infect other children, I'll have something to say about it. My son once caught lice, and of course I kept him home until it was cleared--as was the school policy. As is the current school policy, and the school policy of every school they've ever been in....thankfully.
To summarize the many arguments against the 'no nit' policies:
- there is no objective medical or scientific evidence to support the adoption, enforcement or continuation of a no-nits policy (or, for that matter, a 'no-live-lice' policy),
- the manner in which 'screenings' are conducted within schools may violate the confidentiality of the students,
- such screenings are often conducted by personnel who neither have certification as clinical laboratoratorians nor are medically qualified to render a medical diagnosis,
- the exclusion policies have never been demonstrated to reduce incidence or prevalence of head lice in the school population,
- the activity of screening within the school is burdensome to staff and students alike,
- the conclusions of the screeners are frequently flawed,
- the condition of pediculiasis rarely manifests with more than mild and transient pruritus, and is not associated with other infectious processes,
- head lice are acquired mainly by direct head-to-head contact with an infested person (rarely via inanimate objects),
- head louse eggs ('nits') are, for all practical considerations, non-transmissible,
- exclusion policies restrict educational opportunities for the affected students, and may (because of increased absentee rates) reduce state funding to schools,
- 'no-nit' as well as 'no louse' policies are discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...010-1308v1.pdf The National Association of School Nurses NASN | NASN Position Statements), and by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lice: Head Lice: Parents - CDC DPD) also discourage the 'no nit' policies, and;
- certain prominent school systems have eliminated or modified their policies (e.g. New York City), and the feared 'epidemics' of lice have not materialized. See: Pediculosis (Head Lice) - Office of School Health - New York City Department of Education
In addition to this discussion, interested readers are directed to a National PTA-commissioned article: The Role of the School in Battling Head Lice | PTA pertaining to the management of head lice in schools.
(Also . . . .lice don't jump)
Oct 30, '12We school nurses owe a huge thank you to Dr. Pollack and all his research which led the change in conventional wisdom. Here's one more interesting link -- an interview on NPR's All Things Considered.
Dear Lice Guy: What's Bugging Me? : NPR
Oct 30, '12I didn't take this thread to be about whether or not a lice policy is valid. That's a whole different discussion. Some school districts still do have them, and our policy is dictated by the county Board of Health. Yes, I can give my input but I can't change city hall. Until the Board changes its policy, I have to abide by it.
I'll give you an interesting example though....last year a certain class had a group of girls that were buddies. They stayed over at each others houses, played together, shared stuff, etc etc. That class had an outbreak, which ended up ONLY being the girls mentioned above. The all came down with lice within a day or so of each other. Their parents yelled, moaned and groaned, blamed me, blamed the school, and complained the other girls in the class must have passed them to their girls. Guess what? No other students in that class ended up with lice, except that group. Further, the parents eventually determined it was from a sleepover one of them had.
No matter how much teaching and reminding you do, kids do continue to hug each other, share jackets, sweaters, combs, hair decorations/barrettes and so on. They do this at sleepovers, and they do it in school. And if parents won't/don't do their jobs and check, it will never go away.
Oct 31, '12I had a parent come in today upset that her daughter keeps getting lice so it must be from another student in her class... nobody else in the class has lice (I did a lice check yesterday when she called her daughter in absent) and I told the mom that it's probably just stuck in the home and gave her a flyer of tips to getting rid of lice...she huffed and puffed and said she knows all of the tips and has been doing them everyday...there's no getting through to parents...ever.
Nov 4, '12Jolie: how can you state that children with lice shouldn't be sent home? Don't you think they will spread lice in the classroom through hugging, sharing hairbrushes, lice getting on the carpet and crawling on other students, etc?
Nov 4, '12Quote from BeagleBabeWe need to base our policies, procedures and practices on public health principles that are supported by current research and scientific knowledge. Research shows that lice are not readily transmissible by normal student to student contact in the typical classroom setting. Head lice do not fly or jump from person to peson. They are transmitted by head to head contact, and the sharing of clothing, linens, and personal care items, which can be controlled and prevented by education of staff, students and parents, and by monitoring for, and correcting such behavior.Jolie: how can you state that children with lice shouldn't be sent home? Don't you think they will spread lice in the classroom through hugging, sharing hairbrushes, lice getting on the carpet and crawling on other students, etc?
In the rare circumstance that a case of head lice is transmitted in school, there are no negative health implications. Inconvenience? Yes. Annoyance? Yes. Ick factor? Yes. Health problems? No. Inconvenience, annoyance and ickiness are not reasons to exclude a student from school, interfering with his/her education and the parents' ability to attend work and earn a living.
As the identified health professionals and public health experts in our schools, it is time to quit reinforcing out-dated, ineffective and harmful policies. It is our job to advocate for those unable to do so for themselves. A child being excluded from school (and parents forced to leave work) unnecessarily make a darn good example of those who need our advocacy. We mock our own professionalism when we do otherwise. Would you have respect for a teacher who let her laptop sit idle while she wrote lessons on a slate? Or punished students with a dunce cap in the corner? If not, then you should likewise update your practice to the 21st century.