Thursday, November 18

Sue your school for nits? Medicare rebates for lice treatments? It looks like it COULD happen!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from our school.  They called me to say Eloise had head lice and could I come and collect her - she was really upset.

I felt myself getting upset.  For the past 4 months almost continuously we've been treating my family for head lice.  It drives me crazy.  Even thinking about it makes my head itchy, writing this I'm even scratching.  Now apparently they located crawling ones (eww) and eggs but when I got to school I couldn't find any live lice and a few (and I'm talking 3 people) eggs which I could remove from my fingernails... we had treated 2 days before so I knew she was not the culprit, however she was the only one sent home.  She felt shamed and sad she was to miss swimming lessons.

So now I have gone into mega-lice-murder-mode.  Whilst I do egg removal with specific solution, a metal comb and a white towel twice a week, a 'nuke' with a strong lice solution one other time a week and keep her hair back, hairspray it within an inch of it's life - we are still finding eggs (no live lice so at the beginning of the cycle) - just two or three but if we're still finding them - there's still someone in her class with a full infestation.  We have eliminated everything else - linens, towels, brushes, dog, everything!

The school is trying to help by sending notes, they have once even said they would be inspecting hair for infestations, but I don't think the parents are doing it routinely or thoroughly enough to eradicate it.

This is frustrating as a mother of three girls with long hair, Eloise and myself have very thick hair - it's time consuming and expensive!

Clearly my school/class isn't the only one with lice problems - this press release sent yesterday I found quite interesting:

A parent has successfully held Clairgate Primary School in St Clair NSW, liable for head lice treatment costs after being successfully treated at the No More Nitz Head Lice Salon, Parramatta, Sydney. This ground breaking news is a landmark case for all families across Australia and brings an alarming awakening for all State and Federal Government Health & Education Departments.

“It was confirmed today that Ms Daldy was reimbursed by the Clairgate Primary School for specialist head lice treatments to the value of $294.95” says Jennifer Holt, Director of No More Nitz.

The Government and schools have FAILED in their duty of care to provide a healthy school environment for the Daldy family and others like them around Australia. 

This is the first landmark case of its kind in Australia since the inception of No More Nitz in Parramatta. The long term effects of this case will ultimately result in an onslaught of additional similar cases in public health negligence if the Government fail to act NOW in moving community health forward by taking on and acknowledging Head Lice as a major health problem effecting more Australians more than ever. This case is the proof parents, children and families have been waiting for, to assist them in their fight against head lice infestations at school and in the community. 

No More Nitz are assisting parents by petitioning parliament in a bid to; 
• Introduce and publicly fund a Mobile Head Lice Treatment Pilot Program in NSW; 
And on a National level 
• Secure Medicare subsidisation for head lice treatments with No More Nitz Specialised Head Lice Treatment Salon/s.

I would love this, head lice drives me crazy!!  What do you think?

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16 lovely comments:

Gifts of Serendipity on November 18, 2010 at 7:28 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I would LOVE to see these recommendations brought into play nationally.

I am SO over the whole palarva [?] of regular lice treatments = time consuming + expensive!

PinkPatentMaryJanes on November 18, 2010 at 7:40 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Three years of regular treatments - the serious stuff weekly, the sprays daily and every second day with the conditioner and comb. And still they come. Maddening. I find big ones, when two days before there were none - so I know they're not hatching - they're leaping from another head. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH.

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Our school participates in this program which has seen the problem kept somewhat under control:

When we do get them I swear by the cheap conditioner and a lice comb. My children have extremely sensitive skin so I can't nuke 'em! When I find eggs or lice I smother their dry hair in conditioner and then comb through, going over the head section by section. I wipe the excess conditioner off the comb after each stroke and find that the little critters and eggs come too. The conditioner stuns the lice, you have about 20 mins to comb it through. I do it every day for the first few days and then every second day, and then make sure I do it at around the 1 week mark to catch any I missed. So, between a 1 litre bottle of conditioner, the cheapest no-name stuff I can find, a cheap box of tissues and a bit of my time, keeping the nits under control does not cost us an arm and leg!

btw, I have 3 children - 2 girls with long curly hair and 1 boy, also with long curly hair! I feel your pain

Ali said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

So I guess your girls havent gotten worms yet?

Sarah Lyford on November 18, 2010 at 8:08 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]


Head lice are THE bane of my existence. With two of my kids in primary school with very very curly (tight afro curls on one) hair, we are especially prone to this. Wish I had thought of suing back when we were still in a govt school!

I tried, unsuccessfully, to provide suggestions and research into a program that could easily (with a little initiative) be implemented for having hair checked regularly, even provided templates of all the necessary documentation needed as it was all available on the VIC govt website (not sure if it was edu or health dept) but got no response or interest whatsoever.

UGGHHH the amount of money I have spent on nit treatment. And if you have ever tried to comb through a little boy's afro looking for nits, you know just how close to the brink of insanity it brings you. Shudder.

Phew, rant for the day.

Farmers Wifey on November 18, 2010 at 8:55 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

oh my god! I'm sorry ladies you are going through this but you have made me feel so much better as we are struggling (yet again) with the creepers... Most of this year (for the very first time) we have had to treat our kids hair constantly....we do the right thing and 2 weeks later, we have them again.

My two girls have bum length thick hair and its an absolute time consuming, expensive nightmare...I treat, treat a week later, condition and comb, tie hair back and slick with hairspray for school, spray a preventive on the hair and still they get them. I am 100 percent sure other parents don't bother, so we get them again. Its not fair, i am over it. Guess what I'll be doing this weekend...sigh.....

boxsey on November 18, 2010 at 9:04 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I think it's hilarious how upset people get over nits. I remember the shriek of horror from my own mother...and I'll never forget her look of disgust...which, as a kid, I took personally. Instead, I embrace them. I do a quick comb though every day, when we brush thier hair. If we end up with a few...well, we turn it into a science lesson. What I do find disgusting, is sending a kid home from school for having them. That, I would sue the school for.

greenfumb on November 18, 2010 at 10:20 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Oh I remember those days. My youngest was once sent home from preschool with nits. It was because they had communal hats that were kept in a basket and kids just took the first one that came to hand.

Once they went to school it was an ongoing saga for many years and like you we all have long thick hair so I lived in mortal fear. I felt that I must be poisoning my kids with all the lice medication I used til eventually my hairdresser suggested that I just comb Olive oil through their hair which smothers the little buggers.

And it worked and we never had nits again. Also the oil is good for your hair - win win all round.

Good luck.

Cass on November 18, 2010 at 10:41 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I hate them too but we bought a Robi Comb years ago and I check the girls hair every afternoon when they get home. This little comb runs on batteries and you comb the hair with it and it emits a buzzing sound when it kills a nit, you brush it out and keep going. It definitely keeps it under control as it is quick and easy. I spray every morning with hair spray. If I find any I then also do the conditioner and lice comb but just the el cheapo conditioner.

middleagedcrazywoman on November 19, 2010 at 6:11 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

The problem (or at least here) is it's the parents who don't really give a damn about it that is causing the problem. They don't look and if their child is sent home with a note nothing is done and the child returns to school to re-infect the other children. Short of banning the children from the school (which will not happen) there is nothing to be done. Which is wrong. It can't be healthy for "THAT" child either and unfortunately that is what happens.

Creative disorganization on November 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Its crazy I know,a hairdresser showed me how to section the hair properly....that 2" by 1/2 cm of hair at a time, then you won't miss the eggs...have heaps of ibis clips...the lice in our community became imune to the product because everyone was using the same....they become resistant to the chemicals...just like in farming....the last boult we had I couldn't HD said water down some metho until I could go to another chemist with different products. They passed out cold. Metho won't harm but will sting any sores from the cooties. I felt like you, but my hubby works with bugs & chemical...& he said that they are alway changing products because of resistants...has to make sence...eggs are the key to stopping the problem...good luck

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

15 to 20 years ago school nurses would come regularly and check the children's hair, then the government cut funding. It was a very effective scheme.

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I remember in the early years of school it felt like my daughter had them all year...slightly exaggerated but not by a lot!
You really feel like you’re the only one treating head lice vigilantly.

Then a wonderful Mum passed this on to me it helps repel head lice,
Place around 20 drops of tea tree oil and 5 drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle with water.
Lightly dampen hair with the mixture.

It’s now been 5 years since we’ve had head lice!
Give it a try I swear by it ;

Donna on November 29, 2010 at 3:18 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

white vinegar is also very useful for removing the eggs - it dissolves the glue that holds them onto the hair ... follow that with the white conditioner and then use hair straighteners - cook the lice at 210C ! lol .... it definately does work - my daughter had a few large lice and a lot of eggs, and i did the vinegar/conditioner thing, then straightened her hair every day for 3 weeks - no more problems :)

just this weekend, my oldest son was found to have eggs ... but interestingly no lice were to be found - no idea how the eggs got there but they did so it was the white vinegar and conditioner for him !

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I've been to other head lice salons near home (and cheaper ones than No More Nitz too may I mention - so shop around ladies!) and I do agree with this article that the government needs to take this whole situation more seriously, but just can't get passed the advertorial press release! I am in marketing & business development and hope that all the mums reading this can see these guys are really just trying to drum up their own business with this hype. My advise, get over yourself and come from it at a community level - you are not the be all and end all of head lice treatment salons but maybe if you humbled yourself and all rallied together then just maybe the government might see a strong and established framework for widespread services and be more likely to initiate a medicare program. They are never going to fund a single provider who paints themselves as 'the only trusted provider' as it's obviously not true.

Scott on April 3, 2012 at 8:14 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Nobody is insured from head lice treatment, but hygiene should be on the first place.


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