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If you were a child in the 1990s or before, then you likely remember having nurses check your hair for lice. Perhaps this is still done in elementary schools today, but bed bugs are considered more of a threat to students than lice these days. Being checked for lice, bed bugs, or any insects in front of your classmates can be embarrassing, but of course, everyone is subjected to the same treatment, and such checks are an important matter of public health. Rarely are kids found with lice or bed bugs in their hair during these checks, but what if a kid was found to have lice or bed bugs during a routine check in the classroom? Would that kid not feel embarrassed, humiliated and ashamed? Or do nurses discreetly notify the teacher in an effort to keep the matter quiet upon finding lice or bed bugs on a child? Unfortunately, one child was recently outed as having bed bugs at an elementary school in Gary, Indiana. Although the kid’s name was not mentioned in the news, the story has gone national, and all of his classmates and their parents likely know the kid who had the bed bugs on his clothing. In fact, school officials even traced the bed bugs back to the child’s home. In response to the finding, an aggressive bed bug treatment operation is currently underway within the school.

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The kid who was found with bed bugs crawling on his clothes likely feels embarrassed by the situation, especially since he is the reason behind a major anti-bed bug campaign that involves the school as well as multiple city agencies. The poor kid is being forced to submit to bed bug checks every morning before entering his classroom, and several parent’s of the students have complained about the kid’s presence in the classroom. The whole school and all of the school buses have been fumigated and some classrooms have undergone heat treatments in order to eradicate any remaining bed bugs. The school’s principal said that he does not want to see things get worse for the child, but he further stated that the welfare and safety of all students is the top priority.

Do you feel like insect-checks on school children should be conducted with more discretion on the part of school nurses?