I’m scratching my head over why I’ve never seen a report into the lost productivity caused by dealing with nit infestations. If each household spends five hours a week combing and washing, combing and washing, and repeat this each week until no nits appear, then repeat whenever re-infested, and re-infestation occurs twice more each year, let say the parents of the household spend 60 hours a year treating their families for nits. That’s 60 hours that could have been spent playing or cooking or reading, or learning a new skill. For a school of 400 families, that’s 24000 hours of lost productivity for one school community.*
Can I ask that we try to avoid such lost productivity in Australian households by declaring the last week of the holidays National No Nits Week? If we put our heads together we could hatch a plan to avoid infestations spread by children at school by making sure children start the school year with clean heads.
Perhaps that means a nurse checks the children on the first day of term.
I know that teachers are not allowed to check children. But having spent time in the classrooms, I could make a pretty good guess which children have nits - the one who keep scratching their heads. I don’t know that, at our school, children are sent home for having nits. The only way it is managed is that a note goes home to the parents of the class asking that they check their children. The whole issue, as a health issue, is not dealt with very seriously. I know that some parents just ignore the whole matter.
What else could be done? Are nits dealt with more seriously at other schools?
* We all know that issues are only taken serious when presented in terms of productivity, or GDP or the economy. Not taken seriously if mums just say, 'We're bloody sick of nits!'.