Monday, March 14, 2016

The Lice Go Marching, One by One...

Head lice and nits in hair
source

I have not given lice much thought lately.  

My first year teaching second grade was an eye opener.  For the first time, I looked down at students' papers and top of their heads.  Well, let me tell you.  

Looking down at Alejandro's papers, my eyes were drawn to his short hair.  I could have sworn his hair was moving.  But, no.  His hair was thoroughly infesting with lice.  

That meant I had to march my class to the nurse's office, where each student would have a hair-lice check.  Alejandro was pulled out immediately, followed by a few other students.  

Also, any sibling of the lice-infected child would be checked, along with his/her class. That child probably had lice as well.



The bewildered students were sent home where mothers would buy special shampoo to treat the vermin.  Every place the child's head might have been also had to be thoroughly cleaned: beds and linens, furniture, stuffed animals, clothing, etc. Using a special very fined toothed comb, parents would have to meticulously remove lice, to ensure louse removal.

The below video may answer any questions you might have.




This was a massive undertaking, which not every parent did, or at least did completely.

Alejandro came back with a nearly shaved head, and some girls came back with short hair.  Then hair would again be checked for any nits/eggs left behind.  This process could take a full week.

Even though my hair was short, it always felt itchy after that.  The nurse checked me out--always fine.

What brought this odd subject up?  

Last night, when attending my granddaughter's band concert, a kindergarten boy was sitting on his mother's lap in front of me, when his aunt pulled a louse from his hair.  Mom grabbed his head and searched through it, bit by bit. 

I don't know if this was a one-off event, but it sure made me remember.

So, there you are. If you are curious and want to know more, please watch this YouTube video.  Very enlightening and entertaining, much more so than the video above.


20 comments:

  1. I've never had lice, but working where I did at the children's home I certainly had to deal it. Shampooing, combing, washing everything in sight... Always made my head itch.

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    1. Until one had been there, it is hard to imagine how lice make students feel. It is a reflection on their family.

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  2. Thankfully I never got the nasty things, I know a few kids who got them though, blah.

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  3. Disgusting! Glad I never had to deal with that. I would've itched for days.

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    1. You would itch for days, I know about that.

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  4. My daughter went through cycle after cycle with my granddaughter. Finally she assembled a group that went to the board and said until the source child is kept home until lice free, tuition payments go into escrow. Very effective. It could only happen in a Montessori school.

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    1. Good for her!!! It is a school wide problem. Students miss weeks of school. I wonder what the school board could see this above video, what their reactions would be.

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  5. I have never (fortuneately) had to deal with them. A teaching friend did. And also got a 'scabies allowance'. He frequently got scabies from his classes, and was required to stay home until he was no longer contagious. Eventually the education department recognised that it was out of his (and their) control.

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    Replies
    1. Having to hire numbers of subs over and over should make them realize that something is costing money.

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  6. Crumbs its pays not to eat in bed doesn't it... which I must confess to doing. So I bought myself a dyson recently and hoovered my mattress, good grief! Unbelievable. I'll spare you the details.

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    1. Oh, thanks for the no details. My son is an entomologist who
      is the one to whom technicians turn. The stories he has told, oh boy.

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  7. My three girls had long, thick hair. Every year there would be a lice alert in school and I would have to go get that stinky, orange shampoo and and carefully do their hair. Now my daughters have to do that with their girls. Lice, roaches and politicians will be with us till the end of days.

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    1. Ahh, yes, politicians. Which is worse?

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  8. I remember the lice scare we had. I forget what grade I was in. I think I had to be deloused, but maybe not. Only the once, though.

    I recently read a call to not kick kids out of school for lice. Something about it being a minor irritation, not a significant health risk. I wonder if that'll ever catch on.

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    1. While it may not be a health risk, it passes from one person to another. I don't what is the thinking on keeping the child at school. One student I had was nearly bald; she was repeatedly from a huge lice infestation at her home.

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  9. It came as quite a shock to me to find that lice will not infest dirty hair. For I naturally assumed just the opposite was true.

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  10. That's funny that she was starstruck by Clooney...but still got to chat with him. ;) I worked in an elementary school and everyone refused to do the lice checks so I always did them. I felt bad for the kids whose parents couldn't get it right...some I sent home half a dozen times. :(

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!