Parents push for changes in school lice policy Around Town, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Mar 21, 2013 at 10:15 am
Parents got some of the changes but not all they were hoping for in a recent update to the lice policy by the Pleasanton school district. A meeting was held Monday night after the district received a petition with more than 300 signatures requesting that the school provide notices to parents when one of their child's classmates is discovered to have head lice.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 21, 2013, 7:15 AM
Posted by Concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:27 am
"Johnson said he and the nurses will consider an additional change in school policy that would keep a child out of class after lice are discovered."
This should be done. No child with an active lice infestation should be allowed in school, and if the lice are discovered at school, the child should be sent home immediately, that is the only way to avoid spreaeding lice.
The article says that schools and buses do not spread lice: wrong! If a child with lice sits on the bus, the lice can move to that seat, where the child's head was, and then if another child sits on that same seat, well, there you go. Same goes for chairs, sofas, carpets at school.
Posted by Misinformation is causing overreactions, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 9:06 am
"This should be done. No child with an active lice infestation should be allowed in school, and if the lice are discovered at school, the child should be sent home immediately, that is the only way to avoid spreading lice."
Actually, The CDC does not recommend sending children home immediately. One must consider the ridiculous and uneducated social stigma associated with head lice. If a child is discovered to have an active case of head lice in school they have had lice for quite some time and if they are going to spread it it would have likely already happened. However, school is not the most common place where lice are spread. Parents should be notified and they should decide whether they want to expedite the treatment or not by picking their child up immediately. Sending the child back to class for a few hours is not putting the others at risk of infestation any more than they have been at risk for the past weeks (or even months). Children found with live head lice should remain in class, but be discouraged from close direct head contact with others. The child's backpack and coat etc. should be discreetly placed away from the other children's things. A head lice situation should not disrupt the learning process or cause a child unnecessary emotional trauma by sending them home and over dramatizing the situation. Yes, head lice is a huge pain but it's not a health concern. Parents get carried away with it and too often a mob mentality emerges. Check your kids on a regular basis, that is all you can do to keep a head lice situation from getting out of hand. If your child is exposed to head lice it is much more likely to occur during a play date, at a relative's house, extracurricular activity or sport, borrowing an article of clothing or hair tie, sleepover, summer camp, vacation to Disney, etc. Activities during school rarely encourage head to head contact.
Posted by Creepy Crawlers, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 9:26 am
My kids went through their entire school "career" without ever getting lice. They played sports and wore community helmets and never got lice. I think the panic in all of this is outrageous. Out of all the classes my two children have been in, there was only 1 instance of lice. A letter was sent home. Only one child in the class was ever infected. I do believe, however, that a note should be sent home if a child in a class has lice. That way parents who aren't routinely checking their kid for lice can begin to do so - kind of a "head's up" sort of thing. While thinking about lice make my skin and head itch, I think "catching" it is pretty pretty difficult.
Posted by Concerned parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm
"Activities during school rarely encourage head to head contact."
In the lower grades? Are you kidding? And just because the CDC has issued guidelines that are not necessarily correct, does not mean school districts should follow them. The CDC has been wrong in the past: remember the fluoride guidelines in the past? And how cases of fluorosis resulted, many years later, ion the CDC adjusting those guidelines? The CDC is not always right, and they do change their position on things. Same with the AAP (circumcision for instance)
If PUSD is concerned about school absences, I would think they'd try to minimize the number of students who could get infested, and for that, a child with a lice infestation should not be in class.
And what do you mean having the child "be discouraged from close direct head contact with others."? Isn't that making him/her feel worse than simply going home?
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Mar 24, 2013 at 8:14 am
For those parents hoping to avoid permethrin to treat lice, try drenching the hair and scalp in Listerine and placing a shower cap over the hair for at least 30 minutes, followed by a rinse. Then use Suave coconut conditioner and remove nits with a fine toothed nit comb. Repeat the process at least once a day for 5 days. Wash all clothes and bedding in hot water and dry hot cycle. Listerine works better than permethrin and is not neurotoxic.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Mar 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm
My child's friend had lice twice this year. We were never notified by the school, but found out from the parent. Kids in elementary school hug, wrestle, trade clothing and, in short, have head to head contact ALL THE TIME. The CDC should NOT be concerning itself about social stigmas. I don't want the expense and work of cleaning my house multiple times and throwing out bedding because someone might get stigmatized.
Elementary school is one location the CDC admits is a source of lice. Parents need to be notified and the child MUST be taken out of the school environment when they are found. If not, then I think I have the right to sue the school for liability for my cleaning costs.