Saturday 16 April 2016

N is for Nit Nightmares

Welcome to my posts for the A to Z Challenge 2016.
This year, I am posting 
Special School Stories
 tales from either my time as a teacher or teaching assistant within classrooms in the U.K. or from my own school days growing up around the country.

We stand in a line
That snakes its way past the headmaster’s office
Chatting quietly so as not to disturb
Avoiding a lesson brings quiet satisfaction
Although there’s always the fear
That we might be the one
Who has nits!
We wait and we wait as those before us
Bow their heads towards proficient fingers
Parting of hair this way and that and the back of the neck
Our turn and quite quickly it’s all over
And we shuffle back to class
Our scalps still tingling from the nit nurse’s fingers
But knowing nothing is living – no tiny visitors
My long hair is safe!

I remember one instance of getting nits as a child (I can’t quite remember how I found out but it wasn’t through the nit nurse) and my mum patiently combing through my hair and removing all offenders as I sobbed – the awful black and white imagery, of an Eastern European children’s serial where the children all had their heads shaven when nits were discovered, raw in my mind.

Both of my own children were always coming home with notices about nits being in class and could I check their heads and treat if found? My son got them once (he has such thick hair!!) but my daughter seemed to always pick them up (much finer hair) until she went to secondary school. And of course as a teacher I had to deal with such notices being issued every month and sometimes every week and would bemoan the fact that we were not allowed to tell the parents of those children we could actually see nits on!!  There were times when I found myself having to go against this as after notices had been issued and certain children were still terribly infected I decided it was best to have a quiet word as some parents might not be able to read or know how to treat the problem.  I never had a parent be cross – maybe because I always explained that having nits was not a sign of having dirty hair and that both of my own children had had nits too.

I bet your all itching now - so to stop those fingers from straying to your hair leave me a comment below - did you have a nit nurse at your school?  What happened if you got nits?  Does your children's school issue notices or do they ring you or have a quiet word?  Any amazing treatments ever prescribed?  Go on you know I'd love to know :)


  1. You’re right, your story made me itch.
    I remember having them as a kid and my mom combing through my hair. Such a long time ago. Anyway, my children never had the experience, but my grandkids, yes. I did some research and found this product called "ClearLice". They claim "No poisons, pesticides, or harsh chemicals ever". I ordered a supply for my daughter to treat her children. I ordered some for myself too, just in case my grandkids decided to share with grandma :) It seemed to do the trick. But of course my daughter still had to do the combing and such.

  2. Once I realized what Nits were this made me laugh. I hated the lice checks as a kid and somehow, my mom lucked out and neither of her kids got them. My step-daughter has had them but luckily I wasn't around yet.

  3. Oh my goodness. I went through this nightmare once with my sons...easy to deal with. We just shaved their heads. And once with the granddaughter. We about never got rid of them in her long, thick hair. Lots of shampooing!!

  4. I never had this or knew anyone who did. I was lucky. But coincidentally, my husband found a dead bird in a nest on our balcony. He told me there were bugs on it and I should spray it. They were so tiny I didn't notice them at first and touched the area around the nest. Now I'm feeling my skin prickle every five seconds, and I actually found one on my arm! Eeekk! I swear I'm going to die of some hideous bird flea flu! :O

  5. In Hawaii, we call nits "ukus" which mean fleas. The US English term is "head lice." I was so glad I never had any but remember kids with shaven heads. We had a special shampoo and a special uku comb that we had to use. Maui Jungalow

  6. Having head lice wasn't a big deal in my schools when I was growing up. I think almost every other kid has it.I did had some but didn't stay long in my head since I have a very fine hair and I used special comb for that. I agree that having it doesn't mean we have a dirty hair. On my recent vacation trip in Asia, I went to a beauty salon there and got my hair done. The day after that, my head itch and actually caught one head lice. I went back to the salon and found out that they don't wash or sterilize their hair brush/comb. They just kept using it from one head to another. Never go back there again. And thank goodness I got that lice before it multiplies in my head.

  7. My scalp is itching just reading your post!

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  8. this post made me itch too. No nits for me, but the boys had them from day care and then early elementary. Shaved heads a mercy for those creatures (the bugs I mean, not the boys).

  9. Grrrr...I don't even want to talk about it! The horror is too fresh in my mind :(

  10. Yes we had a nit nurse, I was terrified I get them as I had long thick hair (still do) but thankfully never did!

    Mars xx
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