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To think this is an over reaction to lice and refuse permission?

(88 Posts)
Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:32:34

We've lived in the us since sept (so fairly new) and my dds (kindegarten and 3rd grade) go to school here. It turns out that there are head lice going around. We were told there was going to be a check by the school nurse. I was a bit hmm as we'd never had that in England with the dds and it reminded me of my own school days many moons ago but, ok...

Anyway, we were having a friend of dd1 and her family over for dinner on Friday and the mum calls up saying she will have to cancel as her dd was sent home with lice, as were 3 other kids in dd1s class! I was totally shocked at the idea of anyone canceling because of lice and told her it was fine, if dd1 was going to be infected, it'd have happened by now! They just need to avoid head contact and tie their hair back. So they came over (super apologetic) and it turns out that their dd was immediately isolated after the check (in tears!) and all the chikdren with nits/lice had to be picked up immediately. I was very shock.

And then it got worse. The other mum said that the only reason they came over was because their dd had been treated by this commercial company that does treatments and they'd paid $300 for the privilege. And then it turns out that it is this very same company which does the checks at the school!!

So wiu to have sent an email to the school telling them that they do not have permission to check my dds for lice? I told them I would be checking at home but that I'm not happy for a commercial company with a clear conflict of interest to do it and neither am I happy with the response (which i think is totally ott)? Being relatively new I don't want to be a trouble maker but this just seems an over reaction and upsetting for children.

mrsbunnylove Sun 03-Feb-13 21:36:37

i don't know the system in america but your point of view seems correct to me. deal with lice by frequent combing with a fine toothed comb - morning and evening if you want to be absolutely sure.

ripsishere Sun 03-Feb-13 21:36:37

I suppose it depends on school policy whether you'll be able to have your DC excluded from the checks.
When my DD was at school in Bangkok, the nurse would go round the classrooms twice a week. Anyone found with crawlers would be stood in the middle of the room so the teacher could identify them. And the children could identity their peers.
That seemed rather cruel to me.

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Feb-13 21:36:46

Yeah but if they were sent straight home, the parents would check that actually did have lice and then they have the choice of whether to treat them, or use the commercial company's treatment.

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:38:33

Sure, worra, they don't have to! But this company won't make much money if they spend a day checking a school and don't find any cases. Presumably they don't do the checks out of charity!

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 21:39:45

Some of us are old enough to remember Nitty Norah.

And the school dentist, and the school optician, and the school hearing doctor and the school optician.

When in Rome etc

I wouldn't have stopped the company checking at school, but if they then said my DCs had lice I would treat them myself and not pay someone else to do it for me. I've come across this on forums before, the US seems <sweeping generalisation> to go beserk at the very word lice, and they go to enormous lengths to eradicate them, they seal all soft furnishings, and soft toys away for a fortnight, boil/hot wash everything in sight, disinfect everything, and go what to us looks completely overboard.
I think it's more of a cultural thing almost, we just don't view lice the same here as they do there. We sort of take them for granted almost these days, and accept them as a part of schooldays, and just can't summon the energy to get all scandalised and irate, but in the US, well, they do confused

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:41:59

But the American Academy of Pediatrics says these checks are no better than parental checks and that children should NOT miss school time. So I think that, evidence wise, they haven't got much to go on.

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:43:36

Yes, pombears, this other mum was very surprised that we'd welcome her lice infested dd into our house!! Probably thinks we're really rank grin...weird Brits!

germyrabbit Sun 03-Feb-13 21:45:28

three hundred dollars? that's crazy and sounds like a scam, surprised the school sanctioned such a company!

ya def not bu

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Feb-13 21:45:34

Sure, worra, they don't have to! But this company won't make much money if they spend a day checking a school and don't find any cases. Presumably they don't do the checks out of charity!

But it doesn't matter does it? Because the parents will be able to see for themselves whether they have lice or not...so why/how could they lie? confused

If they keep sending kids home who don't have them, they're going to make themselves look very silly.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 03-Feb-13 21:45:42

If they check your dd and she has lice, you don't have to pay for their service.

Tbh, I wouldn't refuse the check because other parents might think your dd does have them and that you are being difficult, which could make things difficult for your dd socially if the other parents are that way inclined.

If you are going to check regularly and treat at home, and not send her in if she has them if that's the schools policy, then your dd won't end up upset at school because she won't be in school with nits.

I wish they would bring back nit checks to schools in this country and ensure children were treated before they came back, it would save a lot of problems!

RattyRoland Sun 03-Feb-13 21:46:58

Yabu. I agree with school lice checks, not all parents can be relied on to check their dcs...

<<sings Star-spangled Banner>>

They're nuts, those Yanks. Good ol' free market economy at work.
I hope the kids had a nice time at yours and that they enjoyed being made wlcome rather than being dealt with like they were carrying the Black Death!

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:48:54

I'm not so sure about the parents checking. They can be hard to spot and the level of hysteria here about head lice is soooo high. I reckon they could easily get away with 'diagnosing' a fair few who don't have.

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:50:32

I wouldn't mind a live check per se if it were done
a) by school nurse
b) parents informed confidentislly but kids kept in school (as per guidelines)

I don't think a school nurse type person checking is a bad idea, it is a commercial company being involved AND turning a profit that just stinks IMO.

300 dollars!!

How much FullMarks would that buy you reckon?

Nanny0gg Sun 03-Feb-13 21:51:23

Yep.
Our system where some parents never check or treat their children works just fine...

x-post smile

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 21:51:45

Kids had a great time and parents needed a few stiff drinks after what was for them a very traumatic afternoon!

Pixel Sun 03-Feb-13 21:52:56

$300 shock.
I'm surprised any of the parents agree to paying that.

Dd only had them a couple of times but the £5 Boots own brand stuff and some combing did the trick.

<wanders off muttering "$300" and shaking head>

meditrina Sun 03-Feb-13 21:53:06

It seems the company is playing it straight - the child they said had lice did have them, they didn't 'find' them on uninfested children (like your DD) , and presumably there's no obligation to use the company to treat them.

I agree with PP who said that attempting to opt out of the checks could be reputation wrecking. And if the school has a policy of sending home children when lice are seen, there's not much you can do about it as a lone voice. But perhaps you could see if other parents agree with you, and if they do, perhaps presenting them with a popular mood for policy change might be a way ahead.

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Feb-13 21:56:16

I'm not so sure about the parents checking. They can be hard to spot and the level of hysteria here about head lice is soooo high. I reckon they could easily get away with 'diagnosing' a fair few who don't have.

Then that's the parents fault isn't it?

If your child gets sent home with head lice and you're too hysterical to check properly, any misdiagnoses is down to them.

I don't really see a problem here. I know you clearly don't trust this company but if you check your own DC regularly, you don't have to trust them.

Kungfutea Sun 03-Feb-13 22:00:32

It's not that simple worra. It's not the treatment part I'm worried about as I wouldn't spend $300 anyway.

It's the fact that my dd could be sent home from school unnecessarily. I dont want her missing school, i dont want her embarrassed (as head lice here are seen with something approaching horror). I think there's a clear conflict of interest for this company who profit directly from diagnoses of head lice.

Pixel Sun 03-Feb-13 22:00:48

My dd is nearly 17 now. I feel quite nostalgic for nit combing actually, now I know I'm unlikely to have to do it again. Very satisfying when you get the little beggars.
I can't imagine getting hysterical about it hmm.

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