Bring back the nit nurse11th May 2011
Campaigners in Denbighshire have called for the return of a registered nurse to check children for signs of head lice.
They said up to 600 parents had signed a petition asking for the return of "nit nurses" at Ysgol Christchurch in Rhyl.
The organiser of the petition, Kelly Payne, said head lice were a "big problem" and added that her daughter had come back in tears from school on multiple occasions.
Nit nurses were commonly seen in schools until the 1980s and 1990s, when it became the duty of parents to check their children for head lice.
One louse is able to lay many eggs - known as nits - every day. Lice are unable to fly and have to be passed from head to head by different hosts.
Mari Gaskell, Ysgol Christchurch's deputy head teacher, stated that the school did have a nurse but she did not carry out routine inspections for nits.
"What we're not able to do is actually force people to treat their children's hair or to exclude them on the basis of the fact that their hair needs treating."
She explained that in the past the nurse came in, inspected the children's hair and the school would send them home if necessary for treatment.
She added: "That hasn't happened for many years. If we have any parents who are reluctant to treat their children's hair it goes very quickly from one child in a class to the whole class, and from the whole class to the school."
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Title: Bring back the nit nurse
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 18428
Date Added: 11th May 2011