Concerned father demands school district be more proactive against ‘super lice’

BALLWIN, Mo. – The next time you catch your child scratching their scalp a little too excessively, you may want to check them for head lice.

On Thursday, Sean Conover, whose daughter is a fourth-grade student at Hanna Woods Elementary School, said leaders at the Parkway School District aren’t doing enough to notify parents about what he calls “super lice.”

Experts say super lice are head lice, but this particular breed or strain is resistant to common over-the-counter treatment products.

Conover said this isn't the first time his daughter has had a problem with lice over the last few years.

“Last Monday, she noticed it,” he said.

Conover said he and his wife backtracked and eventually figured out how their daughter caught this recent case of head lice and made sure to inform the school nurse.

“She had a couple of sleepovers in the last three weeks,” Conover said. “I called and informed the school that it’s super lice and over-the-counter drugs and treatments will not take care of super lice.”

Conover said he was concerned his daughter wasn’t the only one with super lice at school, so he kept her at home.

“Based off of the response and how the communication was going back and forth, the school it seemed was not doing what they should’ve to protect my child, as well as other children,” he said.

Professional head lice treatment expert Libby Lutz, who owns Lice Busters, said that there is a reason behind that.

“Lice is not considered a health hazard, so schools and pediatricians don’t want kids to necessarily miss school,” Lutz said. “So that’s why a lot of schools follow the Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, which say that it’s ok to have lice with you at school.”

Fox 2 News reached out to the school district asking about protocols currently in place.

“We are not excluding children who have head lice,” said Dr. Robin Wallin, Director of Health Services for the Parkway School District. “If we suspect a cluster, so that would be three or more students in a group, then we do have information that we send to parents, but we don’t send letters about isolated cases because that causes a lot of anxiety.”

But Conover said that’s not good enough.

“They need to make sure that a child is (lice) free before returning to school,” he said. “They need to tighten up their policies and be more proactive in making sure children are taken care of.”

The school district has provided information on preventative measures, which can be found at http://bit.ly/2hHQS62.