School Policy on "no-nits" - what do we do now? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're in the midst of an issue with my dd's public school.  She had headlice on Thursday 9 days ago and we treated her immediately and thoroughly. It was pretty bad and we spent much time combing.  When we returned her to school on Monday, nits still remained.  We combed more, did a vinegar rinse, and returned on Tuesday.  Still there.  At this point I did some research and found that CDC and AAP discourage "no-nit" policies.  I wrote the principal and school nurse to ask for an exception, and outlined our treatment plan.  I suggested we keep her home until the next Tuesday, at that point she'll have been lice-free for 12 days.  Nits hatch 7 days after being laid, but none of the nits actually hatched (we're still combine just to make sure).  The principal said no, it's a district policy and therefore she can not return to school until there are no more nits in her hair. 

 

The biggest problem for me now is that I will not sit for 5 hours to pick every single nit out with my fingers.  Because they are DEAD and it's unnecessary.  It's not that I can't do it, it's that I refuse to waste our time doing that.

 

What do we do?  She's now missed 6 days of school over this!  I do hope that when the nurse checks her this Tuesday she'll just ok her, since biologically speaking there is no way that any of them are still alive.  But if she doesn't, what do we do?  We've come up with some options, and I would love your feedback on them, or any additional ideas:

  • write the superintendent to request the exception
  • ask to see the actual written policy "so we may know exactly what it is we need to adhere to" or something like that (ie: is there a loophole?  Is the policy truly a district policy?)
  • pull her out and homeschool her, which is the plan for next year?  She'd be devastated about missing the end of school though, which is why we haven't really planned that route.
  • other?

 

Thank you so much, this is really frustrating to me!


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#2 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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It's 3 days until the appt.  If you're not willing to spend 5 hours straight combing for nits, are you willing to comb for an hour or two each day between now and then to get them?  Unfortunately the APA/CDC recommendation is not law--it's still district (and in some district it's the building principal with the final call) deciding, and you have their answer.  Rent a couple of movies, hang out and talk.

 

If it wasn't important for your DD to be in school, I would say screw it.  Since it is, if she can understand that it means that over her holiday weekend you'll have to comb daily in order to make it happen and she agrees, then to be honest, that's what I would do.  I know that it's a real pain in the butt.  Maybe you need a better comb (the ones that come with the treatment boxes suck)?

 

I think it's your DD's hair and her desire to go to school--if she is willing to have her hair combed in order to attempt to make the latter happen, I'm sorry mama, but I would just do it.

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#3 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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I'd just spend the 5 hours doing it and get her back into school. I know it's not fun but really, it's not worth the time when you know she'd be crushed if she didn't get to go back? Changing district level policy can take weeks and months. Just have a movie marathon and do it or hire one of those lice removal people to come to the house and do it for you. Yes, it totally sucks but if your goal is to get her back in school, I'm afraid you'll just have to suck it up. If you still want to change policy, go for it! Just get her back in school first.


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#4 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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in 3 districts in our school - the no nits is a no-exception policy. there is no way anyone who were given exceptions. dd missed i think almost two weeks of school. she has super fine dark hair and she met all the criteria except one for the worst hair to find nits. finally the nurse felt bad for me when she found one nit and allowed dd to go to class.

 

neither dd or i had any problems though missing school. we brought home the homework but had a grand time at home. initially i spent many hours but later didnt. 

 

dd is not a big fan of school so doesnt mind missing a few days here or there. but in general she misses her friends and teacher. 

 

this is the last days of this grade. i would do the 5 hours and take dd in. i would also keep taking dd in everyday to get her head checked. and then hopefully the nurse will give you a break like she did me. 

 

but this is not a mountain i'd like to die on. esp. if dd enjoys school. this issue would not make me think homeschool. 

 

i have been involved with the PTA trying to figure out better school lunches that works for everyone. its almost 3 years and we've gotten no where. 

 

in the two public schools dd has been in the headlice situation only happens in K and first. and not again.

 

 

The biggest problem for me now is that I will not sit for 5 hours to pick every single nit out with my fingers.  Because they are DEAD and it's unnecessary.  It's not that I can't do it, it's that I refuse to waste our time doing that.

 

i hear you. but i would do it (and i know that's hard to do with other kids in the house) because

 

  • She'd be devastated about missing the end of school though, which is why we haven't really planned that route
 
i would use a really strong light to find the nits. 
 
the problem is this is not march. this is may and u dont want dd to miss the last week of school.
 
you just doont have the time to go thru the system and fight it.  

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#5 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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Get a comb like this http://www.biconet.com/personal/GIFs/nitFreeComb.jpg and it should take you 20 minutes.
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#6 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate all of your feedback, especially the suggestion for the comb.  The other 4 that I've tried are not pulling out any more nits, but maybe this one will.

 

Dd has another month - she goes till June 27, very late!  She and I had a talk today about doing the end of year.  I told her what the principal had said that we need to do to get her back in school.  I think she'd like to, but I also strongly suspect it's just because of her field trip in 3 weeks.   She kept going back and forth because we really have had a great week at home.  I told her that she needs to let me know on Monday morning what it's going to be, and between now and then she can ask me any questions she wants about it.  I think she'll decide to go to school. 

 

I appreciate the way you all pointed out that if she really wants to go then it's up to me to make that happen.  Though I will work with the district on changing that policy to one that includes some sort of language about the school nurse using her discretion in determining whether the infestation is over in extreme cases.  I imagine I'll be able to find some language online. 


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#7 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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I see you are in Mass. We have been lucky (knock on wood) to never have experienced lice but lots of my son's friends have.  They swear by Nitwits- a chemical free/pesticide free/organic treatment center.  They will also travel to your home. I know they go as far as RI, and NH so even if you are in western ma it might work.

 

http://www.liceinfo.net/


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#8 of 12 Old 05-28-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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duh i assumed u had those nit free combs.

 

just an fyi - those combs did not really help us because dd has such super fine hair. 

 

the places where the nits hide and where the nurses look is right above the nape of the neck. 

 

a good strong light truly helps finding those darn nits (though if its super fine BLONDE hair then you are in for it(. 

 

and yes if the nurse sees u keep coming back every day and the number of nits have been decreasing then she does allow kids thru. or at least in both of dd's school. 

 

even though we took this route (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/3/e275.full) the cetaphil helped with the lice itself but not all the nits. 


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#9 of 12 Old 05-31-2011, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Again, thank you all for your encouragement.  Dd went back to school today and passed her "nit-check" thank goodness!  She and I had a long talk and we wrote down all the reasons she wanted to finish out the school year.  We then posted it in front of us while we manually picked out every single nit.  We spent a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes, that's not counting the breaks.  A pro today found 3 more, but that's it, and she did a full head check. 

 

Why a pro, you ask?  Because as it turns out, I neglected my own combing (I'd treated the same day as her, but I'd used Nix hoping it'd be a quick fix).  My two younger ones and I both needed to be treated, so we went the olive oil route with a pro to do the work on my head.  Dh isn't home yet... but I'm guessing I'll spend some more time combing him tonight.  Never a dull moment.  In any case, dd is ecstatic to be back at school to finish up her year.  Thanks for encouraging me to see how important it was to her and to do what needed to be done to make that happen. 

 

 


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#10 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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We just went through a battle with lice at our house.  It was awful.  The only thing that did the trick was the bug busting method.  Watch the video on the home page to see it in action.  No pesticide treatment worked for us and just going through each individual strand of hair wasn't getting them all.  But shampooing and then using a TON of conditioner that we left in and then combed out with a metal nit comb worked.  It had my kids cleared up in 3 sessions.  I didn't wait 3 days like the video says to.  I was doing it daily and then after I didn't find anymore I switched to every 3 days for 2 weeks. 

 

If, heaven forbid, this ever happens to us again, we will definitely use this method.  I found it on MDC's H&H forum.


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#11 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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great news mrsH. glad ur dd is back in school. what preventative methods are u using? we tied up dd's long hair. second time around that did the trick. 

 

aaah suburbanhippie this is fascinating information. so all the old fashioned remedies were on the money. using olive oil, or mayonnaise. you completely drench the hair. and the bevelled edge of the comb is the trick. compared to the rounded edge of the usual steel combs. are the shampoo and conditioner any special type or just plain? do they have the pesticide in it?

 

and the key is combing and timing.

 

the cetaphil method uses the same principal. its making sure you comb during the right intervals. in fact the only other added thing is blowdrying the hair so that the lotion becomes like saran wrap around each hair essentially suffocating the lice as well as the direct effect of the heat.

 

interestingly one of the combs i have is bevelled edged and the other one not.

 

for our two infestations we used the cetaphil lotion method. and yet because of dd's hair being the worst hair to catch lice (both school nurses told me that) while it got the lice i still had to remove the nits manually. some nits. not all. and that's why i was trying to get my district to change their policy but they refused to budge.

 

i must say dd's hair was the silkiest with cetaphil in it. and she has super silky super fine straight hair.   


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#12 of 12 Old 06-04-2011, 04:00 AM
 
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I would pick the nits.Her last year and as you say she will be DEVASTATED. Take the time to pick them PITA that it is. I was told that Larkspur seeds soaked in alcohol(vodka is good) for 6 weeks is used as a lice remedy. I would use that every so often. I have PARANIT that my dd got while in Europe.Good herbal stuff. The oil method works good too.

 

Glad to read she passed nit inspection.

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