Ongoing lice problem

  1. I am looking for info here because I am at my wits end. I have 3 siblings all in Kindergarten who have had head lice LITERALLY since the first day of school. I have had multiple meetings with Mom. She was treating at the beginning of school and she has just stopped treating all together now. CPS was called previously, they said that there wasn't anything they could do. Our family resource coordinator has worked with Mom but she still does nothing. We're not allowed to treat the kids at school, nor do I want to. Everyday the girls come to me and I try to remove all live lice that I can just to prevent them from spreading.

    Mom is for the most part doing what she can I think, She is a single mother with 6 kids and no other family support around, we have offered her every bit of help that we can offer/ know of.

    Any tips/info greatly appreciated. I just do not know what else to do.
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    About MrsK_Nurse

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 42; Likes: 229
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    35 Comments

  3. by   ruby_jane
    CPS cannot address medical neglect?

    Ulefsia (sp?) is an alcohol-based anti-lice medication that unfortunately is available only by RX, but it's fairly cheap (around $25). Do you have a friendly doc in or around a community health clinic who could help? And can the PTA assist here if you got someone to write the script? I'm not saying that you should treat and shampoo the children at school but that stuff worked wonders on the two lice cases I saw this year. As a nurse I can't prescribe, but am sharing my experience.

    I appreciate your compassion toward this overwhelmed mom. But it sounds like medical neglect. Unfortunately lice are more of an annoyance than something like asthma or diabetes. Hang in there.
  4. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from ruby_jane
    CPS cannot address medical neglect?
    With the CDC classifying Head lice as normal human flora and recommending that kids never be isolated or kept out of the classroom. What would CPS do? I work psych and we constantly deal with parents who refuse to medicate severely mentally ill kids. CPS tells us a parent can't be forced to give psych meds to a child so there is nothing they can do! Head lice while gross are not harmful to their host and some kids just get them even when they have really great hygiene.

    Hppy
  5. by   ABRN2012
    Bless your heart! Ive been there so many times. You are fighting a losing battle unfortunately. Even if you could treat or even treat with prescription strength if theyve had lice this long then the home needs more than light cleaning. More than likely if she is single and has 6 kids then they have some type of assistance or medicaid and she should take them to the dr. But no one can make her. It says in our handbook to refer to health dept after 3 times and I worked at the health dept and they do NOTHING about headlice. I would get principle involved. If you have provided education and offered assistance then thats all you can do. You shouldnt have to remove the lice everyday! But again I understand because I have done all that before too.
  6. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    With the CDC classifying Head lice as normal human flora and recommending that kids never be isolated or kept out of the classroom. What would CPS do? I work psych and we constantly deal with parents who refuse to medicate severely mentally ill kids. CPS tells us a parent can't be forced to give psych meds to a child so there is nothing they can do! Head lice while gross are not harmful to their host and some kids just get them even when they have really great hygiene.

    Hppy
    I'm going to respectfully disagree - not about the flora and fauna part, but about the lost educational time spent in the clinic, and the potential for bullying, and this never-ending cycle. I wonder if there's something clinically wrong with mom: Is she overwhelmed? Depressed? Lacking resources? CPS can and should assess all that.
  7. by   WineRN
    We have a protocol that the nurse can request proof of treatment if live lice are found more than 3 days in a row (each time live louse if found we call the parents and send home information about treatment and the protocol). If parents refuse to provide proof (a dated receipt/box of medicated shampoo/etc) then the student can be denied re entry.
  8. by   OldDude
    I've talked to CPS several times about untreated head lice. In the Lone Star state having head lice is not considered neglect (unless it has deteriorated to a scalp infection or something like that). But it is considered neglect if, because of the head lice, the kids can't come to school and have excessive absenteeism.

    My district does not exclude kids from school for head lice.

    But my experience with "these cases" is that the parent simply isn't interested and passionate about resolving the problem for...whatever reason; 6 kids, 1 kid, single, married, employed, unemployed, etc, etc, etc.

    So unless your district excludes for head lice, you've done all you can do...forget about it.

    Here's when I gave up on putting too much effort into something like this. Married mother of 4 kids, all of whom have head lice, family has medicaid coverage, parents won't take them to the doctor, I call the kid's pediatrician and beg them to write a prescription for head lice treatment for all the kids, pediatrician caves, emails a prescription to the pharmacy, notify the parent, and they never went and picked up the medicine - remember - medicaid, no cost to them, pharmacy located in the primary grocery store in town so I know they go there for food...what else can you do...forget about it!
  9. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from ruby_jane
    I'm going to respectfully disagree - not about the flora and fauna part, but about the lost educational time spent in the clinic, and the potential for bullying, and this never-ending cycle. I wonder if there's something clinically wrong with mom: Is she overwhelmed? Depressed? Lacking resources? CPS can and should assess all that.
    A mom can actually be quite mentally ill and still CPS will not step in I guess with what I see fathers taking their little girls to poker night and letting the guys have turns at her. Head lice is the least of the CPS problems. As for missed instruction time a bullying - Most kids will never be aware their classmate has it unless a big deal is made out of it. Quit dragging them out of class and making them standout to other students.
  10. by   Amethya
    This is one my fears, and honestly my AP is making a big issue about it and wants me to make a lice screening in the next year second semester, and I'm like really? We haven't had any issues of lice this year, maybe 3 cases, but that's it. I think it's ridiculous, but tbh she's leaving next year, so I guess it won't happen.
  11. by   ABRN2012
    Something that I find "funny" or "odd" is when i first started here the nurse before me just didnt deal with lice. She made the teachers deal with it. Well day 1 of being here I was the lice finder again just like at my other school. I did it for a couple of months and was drowing in it then I went to my asst. super which is who I report to and told him that whole class checks need to be done about every month by the classroom teacher. They send them home and when they return I recheck and educate parents because that is how our policy is written. Thats how it is supposed to work. So the message got relayed. Now I never hear of anyone with lice. Isnt that crazy! They just disappeared!... No the teachers didnt want to deal with it so they made it my problem and were "so scared" of lice in their classrooms. And now that it is their problem well they can just look over it now. Works for me! I see kids scratching like crazy, the ones that keep it and I never hear a thing about it anymore. Its different when the responsibility shifts is all I am saying.
  12. by   OldDude
    So I've included our state law that went into effect this past September. Since we don't exclude from school for head lice I comply with the law; send the notices home and FORGET ABOUT IT!

    Sec. 38.031. NOTICE OF LICE. (a) The board of trustees of
    an independent school district shall adopt a policy requiring a
    school nurse of a public elementary school who determines or
    otherwise becomes aware that a child enrolled in the school has lice
    shall provide written or electronic notice of that fact to:
    (1) the parent of the child with lice as soon as
    practicable but not later than 48 hours after the administrator or
    nurse, as applicable, determines or becomes aware of that fact; and
    (2) the parent of each child assigned to the same
    classroom as the child with lice not later than the fifth school day
    after the date on which the administrator or nurse, as applicable,
    determines or becomes aware of that fact.
    (b) The notice provided under Subsection (a):
    (1) must include the recommendations of the Centers
    for Disease Control and Prevention for the treatment and prevention
    of lice;
  13. by   AdobeRN
    Quote from OldDude
    So I've included our state law that went into effect this past September. Since we don't exclude from school for head lice I comply with the law; send the notices home and FORGET ABOUT IT!

    Sec. 38.031. NOTICE OF LICE. (a) The board of trustees of
    an independent school district shall adopt a policy requiring a
    school nurse of a public elementary school who determines or
    otherwise becomes aware that a child enrolled in the school has lice
    shall provide written or electronic notice of that fact to:
    (1) the parent of the child with lice as soon as
    practicable but not later than 48 hours after the administrator or
    nurse, as applicable, determines or becomes aware of that fact; and
    (2) the parent of each child assigned to the same
    classroom as the child with lice not later than the fifth school day
    after the date on which the administrator or nurse, as applicable,
    determines or becomes aware of that fact.
    (b) The notice provided under Subsection (a):
    (1) must include the recommendations of the Centers
    for Disease Control and Prevention for the treatment and prevention
    of lice;
    I wish it was so easy forget about....we still send home for live lice & do head checks if 2+ cases in same class. I am so sick of it right now - in one grade level I have a large group of girls that all live on the same street, all do same after school activities and are close friends. Since January each of them, one at a time, have had lice - I have sent out the notice as required several times, done class head checks twice already. Parents and teachers keep coming at me like this problem is something I can fix.
  14. by   OldDude
    Quote from AdobeRN
    I wish it was so easy forget about....we still send home for live lice & do head checks if 2+ cases in same class. I am so sick of it right now - in one grade level I have a large group of girls that all live on the same street, all do same after school activities and are close friends. Since January each of them, one at a time, have had lice - I have sent out the notice as required several times, done class head checks twice already. Parents and teachers keep coming at me like this problem is something I can fix.
    Sorry Adobe!! You're right - YOU can't fix it. It's a parental responsibility; complete and total, and until your district becomes proactive instead of reactive and fanning the flames of hysteria it will never change. What a waste of time and energy!

    Maybe at least address, or re-address, how you really don't have a reason or cause, to touch and look at every head in a classroom because one person in the class has lice...you don't go check every kid's temperature in that same class if one kid in there has fever!

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