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A nitpicking problem -- Lice outbreak at Pickens Middle School

Thirty students were sent home from Pickens Middle School Thursday following head lice inspections.

Speaking during a break in the monthly school board meeting last night, Principal Chris LeMieux said the school checked all students in grades 6 and 7, using the school nurse and others to assist, and that they were planning to continue the inspection in 8th grade today.

Students who were found to have lice or nits were sent home with directions from the nurse and then asked to return on Friday for a re-inspection.

The lice problem affected students in all grades and classes.

Although there have been lice problems at campuses before, PCMS faculty said they had never seen it this widespread among the student population.

“These critters don’t discriminate,” the principal said.

Letter sent home with all Pickens County Middle School students .

 

LeMieux said there had been problems at the first of school years in the past, but previously the outbreaks were restricted to only some classes.

LeMieux speculated that this year the problem was more widespread due to the number of kids attending summer camps. He said the outbreak could have started at one of the summer events and is now spreading with students back in the classroom

Attendance Officer Shelley Cantrell, also speaking during the break, said at this point, the overall situation at Pickens Middle, and to some extent at Tate Elementary, isn’t affecting attendance rates, but she is keeping a close eye on all the cases.

She said if the lice got a good head start on some student heads and infested their homes as well it can be difficult to eliminate them. Cantrell said the supplies for a full home treatment are fairly expensive. As attendance officer, she will provide supplies for families that can’t afford them and will even make home visits to offer input on eliminating the lice.

“It can be a real ordeal for families,” she said. “You can’t just treat the kid, you have to treat the whole family.”

She said families have to do more than wash the students’ hair. Sprays for furniture, washing all bedding and other precautions must be followed.

A letter sent home with all Pickens County Middle School students gave parents information on how to eliminate lice and nits.

The letter noted, “Lice outbreaks are very common among school children. Head lice do not carry any disease, and their presence does not indicate a lack of cleanliness.”

LeMieux said the only real health concern is that they are irritating by the itching and “there are hurt feelings” among students found to have lice.

The principal said they used a microscope in the nurse’s office to show skeptical parents the lice from students’ hair.

Cantrell said if they clear the problem up with no new cases for 21 days, then they would likely have eliminated the problem from the campus.

Comments   

payten
-2 #1 payten 2011-08-14 22:33
yall shood let us stay out 4 a lil bit if there r more lice problems cause every1s gona make fun of tha peoples who got it soooo yea we shood stay out
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marth johnson
-3 #2 marth johnson 2011-08-15 02:21
but the alot of the one they sent home did not have it . so maken the kids get up set like that was wrong. if they do not no what it looks like they need to get a new nurse.i was told some went to docters and nothing was ther . so you tell me why. so i think they need to give the kids ther day back and not .
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Lucy
+7 #3 Lucy 2011-08-15 23:20
Okay....first of all, learn to spell (or get a dictionary, perhaps an education). For those of us who've had the nits, we understand the embarrassment. But I'd be more embarrassed if the bugs hatched and were actually crawling! So, I say, take no chances. Send them home and treat the hair anyway. Yes, it's expensive. You can pick your child up, take them and treat the hair, and bring them back to school. Tell your kids no sharing of clothes, combs, brushes, hats, etc. That will help cut-down the problem too. Just like the good Dr. LeMieux said, it's no respecter of persons - we're all vulnerable.
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jessie
+1 #4 jessie 2011-08-17 20:53
FIRST OF ALL,..THE CHILD OR CHILDREN HAD TO OF HAD EITHER LICE OR A NIT OR THEY WOULD NOT OF HAD TO GO HOME,THE NURSE DID HER PART NOW U NEED TO DO YOURS,DONT GET PISSY CAUSE YOUR HAVING TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM,AS FOR THE MEDS TO DO IT WITH ITS( FREE),SO AS A PARENT TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILS PROBLEM AND THEN HE OR SHE CAN GET BK TO SCHOOL,ITS NOT LIKE THIS IS A NEW PROBLEM ITS IN EVERY SCHOOL EVERY YR,U AS A PARENT HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU TAKE PROPER STEPS SO THAT YOUR CHILD DOES NOT GET THEM AGAIN,BY KEEP THERE HEADS CHECKED AND THE NURSE WANT HAVE TO DO IT FOR U,AND THEY WANT GET SENT HOME,:)))))
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Linda
0 #5 Linda 2011-08-23 12:55
I am appalled at the lack of accurate information regarding the treatment of lice within the school systems. School admin/nurses should have to be properly educated in this. The national lice association http://www.headlice.org/ does NOT recommend using toxic shampoos on children's hair as the lice have become resistant to it and using it can cause BRAIN DAMAGE. Go to the site and click on "Jesse's Project". The way to get rid of them is by combing with a METAL comb like a LiceMeister comb. There is a lot of info on the site. NEVER, EVER use those sprays on furniture, bedding etc!!! They are extremely toxic and NOT recommended by the official lice association. NEVER treat the whole family when one person has lice!! Each person must be checked for live bugs. There are many myths out there...go to the source and EDUCATE YOURSELF (especially school staffers!!!)! You are doing a grave disservice to the children if you do not.
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