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Nit Police

on July 3, 2014

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Head Lice do not discriminate.  Head Lice can be found in every school in Australia.  They are stubborn little buggers!!  In NSW Head lice infestations are a common occurrence, particularly in primary schools where about 23% of primary students have head lice at any one time.  Don’t fool yourself, any child can catch head lice – it does not matter what age or sex they are or in fact how clean your hair is.  I recently stumbled across a letter on the internet where one school said they had found lice on a child’s hair the size of shrimp (yuk yuk and maybe a bit of an exaggeration)!!!

At my daughter’s primary school a group of dedicated mums started a head lice screening programme.  They were affectionately known as the nit police.  They did a fabulous job in reducing the amount of head lice infestations in the school.  They provided good information on how to get rid of head lice (hair smothered in white hair conditioner then combed with a nit comb on a daily basis).

Once a term (and with the parent’s consent) a child’s hair was checked.  A note was sent home to all parents advising if lice or eggs were found on their child’s hair on in their child’s class.  I used to dread opening the letter – I would be horrified if my child had lice.  Luckily we were okay as I had followed the recommendations of the nit police.   They also encouraged a squeaky clean weekend.  The idea was that any child who brought back a note on Monday, signed by their parents confirming they had their hair combed with a nit comb, received a reward.  Wow did this create waves.  What if a parent did not want to check their children’s hair, what if the child forgot the note, why should a child miss out on a reward?

Not everyone consented to their child’s hair being checked for lice – however about 70% of the school population did agree.  This is a terrific programme that more schools should adopt.  If you have ever had to deal with head lice (that spreads rapidly among families) I think you will agree.  Gosh even as I write my scalp is starting to itch.

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Do you agree with the Nit Police programme?

 

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