Parents raise alarm about lice at local schools

They’re back. Actually, they never really left. Our readers recently alerted us of head lice issues in some of the schools, public and private, in the SM East area. Some schools, apparently, are having a higher incident rate than others.

The readers also alerted us to a business called “The Miracle Sisters Lice Removal” at 75th and Antioch that does nothing but treat head lice. Quite a few parents have been clients of The Miracle Sisters, especially recently. Jean Pankey, owner of The Miracle Sisters (yes, her sister, a nurse, is in the business), says that the business is open seven days a week keeping busy with this singular specialty. So, it is not just schools in our area that are affected right now and the numbers are substantial.

The business, which Pankey says gets lots of referrals from pediatricians, has been open for a year, so they don’t yet know whether there are seasonal trends associated with the condition locally. She recommends parents check their children so they can be treated right away. Parents get frustrated, she says, when schools aren’t proactive with notifications and the infestation spreads.

The Shawnee Mission School District has considerable information about head lice and school policy on its website which calls the issue a “mild health condition without serious health consequences.” It offers treatment suggestions and says that head lice cannot be completely eliminated from schools and parents are better suited to screen children. Students may be sent home, but are allowed back in school after an initial treatment, according to the posted policy.

The Miracle Sisters, who Pankey says are trained and certified, use natural products. The nits have to be picked out, she says. “They are clean when they leave here and they get two free followup checks” over the next two weeks. She also recommends mint spray as a deterrent.