‘Lice busting’ upgraded

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 5, 1999

From staff reports

Parents should be aware of a renewed battle against head lice.

Sunday, September 05, 1999

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Parents should be aware of a renewed battle against head lice.

Albert Lea schools in conjunction with the Family Services Collaborative’s &uot;Lice Buster&uot; committee now require that when children have lice, steps must be documented.

Specifically, parents must now document and submit to a school nurse the treatment method used to eradicate the live lice and the nits, eggs attached to the hair.

Once lice are initially discovered, parents of a child are contacted while the school nurse checks siblings.

From there, it is up to families to remedy the situation, with advice from the nurses. Upon return to school, the child is checked by the school nurse for live lice, and is rechecked seven to 14 days later.

With hard work and a little luck, instances of head lice may decline under the documentation requirement.

But the school and lice committee’s approach to doing away with a stigma regarding lice is nearly as important.

As is, schools try to keep the identity of children with lice confidential, to avoid teasing. It is too bad that’s necessary; anyone can catch lice, even with clean hair and homes.

The school district correctly plans to halt any teasing of students regarding lice. The fact is, students will struggle in class when teased or bullied by others, and that’s unacceptable.

Lice are a health issue, just like the flu or measles. They are not cause for a child to suffer academically due to teasing.

Lice are not something to joke about, nor something that we should be afraid to discuss and address as a community.


Note: For more lice information, contact Freeborn County Public Health at 377-5100 or the Albert Lea school nurses, Carol Bosma can be reached at 379-4828 and Ann Cavanaugh at 379-4827.