Headlice

Louisianna - posted on 10/23/2014 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I'm a hairdressing lecturer fully qualified with 7 years teaching and 16 years industry experience and looking to start a business in prevention of headlice and treating them in schools... Just like nit nurse my idea is to treat all children those with lice will be treated to kill infestation and those who are clear treated with repellent... So kids don't know any different so no name calling etc.!what do you think of basic idea yes or no?

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Jodi - posted on 10/25/2014

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To be honest, Louisianna, in my 17 years as a parent, I've only had to treat for headlice TWICE. So no way would I agree to something like what you have proposed. Not to mention that you couldn't fully treat them anyway, given you don't have access to the home.

Chet - posted on 10/24/2014

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@Louisianna Ward

If you want to proceed with this you're going to need sound documentation that your products work and are safe. You need to specifically address things like effectiveness, toxicity, allergies, skin sensitivities, government regulation, etc.

You need to work out the exact costs. Know the cost of treating each child, what will be done for parents who don't pay but who don't have a problem with their child receiving treatment, how much of a subsidy the program would require for you to run it, and so on. If you're going to pitch this you need detailed numbers on paper... lots of number, how much time it takes to treat one kid, how much space you need...

You need to research the public health policies and how much the schools can intervene in public health issues where you live. In many places schools wouldn't have the power to require that families participate in a program like this, although some schools might still be interested in offering an optional program.

There are lots of lice removal and treatment businesses. Offering your services on a school wide basis might not be the best model, but this is a good idea for a business even if you have to offer it in a different way (like running a salon that does lice removal, or going to people's homes for lice removal).

Chet - posted on 10/24/2014

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When it comes to kids you can rarely say one policy is always best...

Personally, I think the UK schools where parents can be fined for keeping kids home are being too strict. If your child is very distressed, and you need a to take a day or two to let things blow over and to comb all the nits out for emotional reasons, I think you should be allowed to do that.

At the same time, I think calling parents to come pick kids up in the middle of the day, forcing kids to sit in the office until their parent arrives, and having a strict no nit policy, probably creates more shame and embarrassment around lice than is warranted. Like I said, the treatment we've used effectively kills the eggs and excessive combing to remove every nit isn't necessary.

The loosening of the school policies around lice and nits has upset a lot of parents - but I expect that you're going to see a lot more schools doing it. I understand parents resisting though. Like me, most of them probably grew up believing lice were hugely contagious, and in a time when there was an enormous stigmas attached to lice. A couple generation ago many families had to deal with lice by cutting hair off, or with lots of painstaking combing. They didn't have other treatments available.

It's definitely easier to deal with lice when you have lots of reasonable parents, who are keen to deal with the situation.





Odd how society works. The little girl that got lice in my sons school was very good friends with my son. I called to set up a play date and she told me why the little girl hadn't been in school and that she did not want to chance any of the kids getting lice so no play date. She worked very hard at getting rid of them, and even cut her daughters hair. It was very long and hard to treat. When she thought it was all gone, she came back to school. A week later, she had it again. It took forever to treat and kill all those little buggers. So, I will do what I can to prevent it from coming into my home. People in this area would not bat an eye if your kid had lice, nor would they bat an eye if you did not want kids with lice coming to your home.

Michelle - posted on 10/23/2014

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Well where I am in Australia, schools are no longer allowed to check for lice, they can't send the child home or stop them coming until the infestation is gone. It's all up to the parents and there are slack parents in every year group!
We have a letter sent home each time an infestation is reported and that can be a couple of times a term. I agree that keeping the kids in school doesn't help with the problem but the children that are always infested have parents that don't really care and don't treat them at all.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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I get what you are saying, but having the kids stay in school would make it worse IMO. Especially if the other kids find out about the lice.

Odd how society works. The little girl that got lice in my sons school was very good friends with my son. I called to set up a play date and she told me why the little girl hadn't been in school and that she did not want to chance any of the kids getting lice so no play date. She worked very hard at getting rid of them, and even cut her daughters hair. It was very long and hard to treat. When she thought it was all gone, she came back to school. A week later, she had it again. It took forever to treat and kill all those little buggers. So, I will do what I can to prevent it from coming into my home. People in this area would not bat an eye if your kid had lice, nor would they bat an eye if you did not want kids with lice coming to your home.

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Gena - posted on 10/25/2014

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I wouldnt want anybody to come fiddel around on my kids head and put something on it. Especialy not by somebody i dont know and with products i dont know. What i think of the basic idea..NO thank you.

Jodi - posted on 10/24/2014

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Uh, headlice has nothing to do with hygiene. It isn't caused by low hygiene. Children who have headlice do not need education on hygiene because it is entirely unrelated.

Dove - posted on 10/24/2014

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I wouldn't let anyone put anything on my kids' heads w/out me present. We've had lice in this house once... in 13 years. One of my kids had a MASSIVE infestation. No clue where she got it or how long she had it, but none of the other 3 of us had a single one... even her sister (and they do share brushes and... pretty much everything). All I did to get rid of them was some washing (normal sheets and towels), some vacuuming (normal amount except the beds and couch too), and some thorough comb outs on her head w/ conditioner. Took 2 weeks to get her 100% cleared out... but I wouldn't trust any treatment other than thorough comb outs... as even the lice expert here does them.

I would not support this in our school and I would pull my child from any school that required it.

Louisianna - posted on 10/24/2014

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Firstly no pesticides in products I would use... Using aromatherapy oils to repel...and a special mousse to suffocate head lice and kills eggs... Each parent would pay £1 per child twice a year... Also fun education classes for children and parents on hair and hygiene and head lice training.

Chet - posted on 10/23/2014

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We've had lice in the house four times in two and a half years, but we have four kids. No child has had it more than twice, and most have only had it once. It got to me once, and my husband has still never caught it. Any time lice has come in the majority of the family did not catch it.

Like most kids, I grew up having had the fear of God put in to me when it came to sharing combs, hats and pillows. Lice wasn't a problem at the schools I went to though, and I had no actual experience with lice when I was young. When our kids came in contact with it I was surprised how not contagious it was. Even with four kids who share literally everything it didn't spread very well between them, and we weren't always quick at discovering that somebody had lice. It's easy to have lice for a month without realising it.

Lice has become a much bigger issue in daycares and elementary schools over the last decade or so. It's not because comb sharing is out of control. It's because close physical contact is inevitable with kids, people had been sloppy using lice treatments over the years, and the lice became resistant. I'll add though, that the sloppiness in treatment only sped up the lice becoming resistant. It was bound to happen eventually. That's how evolution works.

Lice has been a constant problem in our neighbourhood since we've been here - largely because many parents have difficulty treating the outbreaks properly. Lice isn't something that only poor people catch, but it is harder to get rid of if you're a single parent with no washing machine, no extra bedding, your kids have no extra coats, and you don't have a car to get to the doctor, the pharmacy or the store. And there are definitely parents around here who can't properly read the instructions on the lice treatments, or who try to stretch one bottle too far.

And even if you're not a single parent living below the poverty line properly dealing with a lice outbreak can be an enormous amount of work. There are services that will come to your house, do all the laundry, bag up the stuffed toys for a week, and shampoo and comb out all your kids for you. Lots of people who don't have the time are willing to pay somebody with experience to do this stuff quickly and efficiently for them. Lice businesses are growing, even if the OPs first attempt at a business model needs work.

In theory, kids can be taught to not catch lice by learning to take precautions, but it practise, kids are kids. It's not always realistic, and a kid who does catch lice shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it. Precautions help, but in the real world you can only do so much, and some people just have bad luck.

There is a huge social impact when you tell kids to stay away from other children, or that kids can't come over to play. Kids just cuddle and squeeze together. They hug and lean on each other. They squash together on the bus, they pile on to swings together, they whisper in ears, they give piggy back rides and wrestle and do lots of things where heads come in contact. And it can create some very hurtful social situations when you tell kids that they can't do that stuff. Not to mention, sharing a brush with your best friend can become a real show of solidarity while refusing to share your brush with some other kid (under the guise of lice risk) becomes an accusation.

I'm not saying you should encourage the sharing of hats and combs. Parents just need to approach this stuff realistically. Precautions and education have their limits, especially when a hug or a piggy back ride are more likely to spread lice than a comb.

Our kids are very close friends with a family that went a year without a washing machine. I strongly suspect that most of the lice at our house came from them, because I know it took them a long time to get rid of the lice, and our kids spend a lot of time with these kids. This family didn't use any over the counter treatments, the mom mostly just combed, and combed and combed with tea tree oil, and unfortunately, her kids spent a lot of time with some other families who weren't even trying to get rid of their lice so reinfection was a problem.

Anyway, the friends were bullied for having lice (by kids who'd had pretty extreme cases of lice themselves) and I just wasn't prepared to tell our kids no hugging, or please stop cuddling up to read together, or keep their coats away from your coats when they take them off at the front door, or they aren't allowed in your bedroom, etc. I sucked up our kids getting lice mainly to spare the feeling of some close friends, and was surprised how the lice didn't spread very well, all things considered. I would have expected our lice problems to have been way worse than they were with the level of contact we had.

Chet - posted on 10/23/2014

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I didn't say that schools here don't send children home. The schools where I live do send children with lice home. However, the current trend in Canada, the US and the UK is for school districts to drop these policies and to allow (or require) kids to stay at school.

Schools are moving in this direction because lice don't present a health risk. Lice are not very contagious (especially in a school environment), and missing school can be detrimental to the child. It can be detrimental socially because being sent home for lice can carry a lot of shame and embarrassment, and of course, it can be detrimental academically to be out of class.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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This is what the CDC says about prevention, not mentioning anything about a repellent:


Prevention & Control

Head lice are spread most commonly by direct head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact. However, much less frequently they are spread by sharing clothing or belongings onto which lice have crawled or nits attached to shed hairs may have fallen. The risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a carpet or furniture is very small. Head lice survive less than 1–2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the scalp.

The following are steps that can be taken to help prevent and control the spread of head lice:

Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp).
Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes.
Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

To help control a head lice outbreak in a community, school, or camp, children can be taught to avoid activities that may spread head lice.
http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/p...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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And NO I would NOT let them put pesticides on my child as a repellent.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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Oh btw, close physical contact would mean heads touching. As you have already pointed out Chet, lice don't fly or jump. Heads have to touch, or transferred by means of other objects to get from one head to another. I know you have had 4 lice out breaks in your home, you are an expert and all, but maybe....just maybe.....prevention and education are the key.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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You have had lice in your house 4 times, so maybe just maybe it is more contagious by sharing hats and combs than you think....come on now. I have 2 children, and they have between then been to 4 different schools. There has been lice in 2 of the schools, and my children have never gotten it thank goodness. I tell them never to share hats, and never use combs from other kids. Seems to be working pretty well over here. In fact, the one little girl that got it at my sons pre-school shared a hat with another girl, and guess what??? Both of them had it. Yeah.

Also, every time they do a lice check at any of the schools, a notice is sent home. It contains information of how they recommend treating it (with pesticides) and how long they need to stay out of school for.

Just because rules are different where I live, does not mean it is wrong because it is different where you live. Don't be so small minded.

And NO, they do NOT treat at any of the school districts my children have been in which have been private pre-schools, a charter school, and public school with an attached private pre-school.

Also, my sisters children have never had lice, and they go to a private school that is very expensive and they will NOT treat your child there either.

Chet - posted on 10/23/2014

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There is a lot of misinformation about lice in this thread.

1. Many school districts do not require parents to keep kids home until they are lice and nit free. In fact, the current trend is for schools to drop this policy (I'm aware of this happening in Canada, the US and the UK). There was recently a piece in the Daily Mail (UK) regarding the fact that parents could be fined for keeping kids out of school for minor things like lice.

2. Not all lice treatments contain pesticides. The lice treatment we've used strips some protective coating off the lice and the eggs, and they dry out and die. It doesn't technically require any combing, just two treatments 7 to 10 days apart. It works really well. It's what the pharmacists here are recommending it over the pesticide based products.

3. Some public health departments have budgets to deal with lice. Where we live now it's possible to have the cost of lice shampoo/treatments covered by the province, and when we lived in the US the preschool our daughter went to had somebody on site for two hours from public health every morning when they had a lice outbreak. There was only 14 kids! Our daughter was fine, but I was under the impression this person was doing more than just lice checks.

4. The risk of infection from sharing hats and combs is quite low. It's good for kids to be wary of sharing things, but be realistic too. Kids hug each other, wrestle, lean on each other, lay on the floor together, etc, and majority of lice are spread by actual head to head contact.

We're a family of six, our kids share rooms, combs, hats, hair accessories and pillows and although we've had lice in the house four times only one or two kids ever get it at once. Lice is not very contagious because the adults can't jump or fly, the eggs won't hatch unless they're scalp temperature, and the adults and the eggs don't survive very long without food and body heat. Close physical contact is a far bigger risk than sharing a comb.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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And, who would be paying for all of this? You realize how many kids are actually in most public schools?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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This in no way should be done in the school. Lice checks are fine, but treatment?? Are you insane??? Houses, bedding, clothing etc all have to be decontaminated. Like Chet said, they would just get reinfected. Plus lice treatments have to be done regularly until cleared.

I would be a really pissed off parent if this was offered in my kids schools. This is the parents responsibility, not the schools. And don't even THINK about coming near my kids with "repellent".

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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No. Parents are obligated to keep their children with lice at home until all eggs and lice are gone. And NO I would NOT be ok with my kids having pesticides placed in their hair if they do not have lice. I will not be forced to treat my child for no reason. Lice is passed through contact. The best thing you can do? Educate children about sharing hats, combs, pillows at sleep overs etc.

Chet - posted on 10/23/2014

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Does lice repellent really work? Or would you be using it mostly for optics?

The schools could be difficult to get into depending on where you live - in some areas the schools have way more capacity to force treatment, and some parent communities are a lot more willing to cooperate than others.

A lot of parents don't want their kids treated with chemicals though. A lot of kids will just go home and get re-infected because the home is contaminated.

That said, there is real demand for lice services. Most of the business I know of go to people's houses though.

http://www.licesquad.com/

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