Nitty Nora………..Hair Explorer!

So my daughter came home yesterday with a note, THERE IS A HEADLICE OUTBREAK AT SCHOOL, and how things have changed….

When I was young there was a Nit Nurse, affectionately referred to as Nitty Nora, Hair Explorer. She visited all the schools on a regular basis, lining up the kids and examining each head In turn, sending you to the right if you were ‘clean’ and to the left if you were ‘infested’. Those on the right went back to class those on the left were sent home with a note, or kept at school, quarantined until hometime.

Now all is ‘anti-shame’, no one must be embarrassed or singled out. So there is no ‘Nitty Nora, and when a girl in my daughters class was noticed to have lice crawling in her hair – noticed by the children may I add not by her mum or the teachers! – she was not singled out, not spoken to and not sent home, she spent the rest of the day chasing the other kids around, laughing and trying to give them lice!

So is one better than the other? Did either eradicate headlice, not really I guess, and maybe it’s just me, a middle aged woman nostalgic for the past, but I miss the Nit Nurse and all the shame that went with it, the fear in the pit of your stomach as you drew near the front of the line, would you be sent left, or right, the exploring fingers, the tension, the horror of being sent home! (or the joy of being pronounced ‘clean’) I somehow miss it all……

Oh and the best bit – the comment from my daughter of course!

you should have seen them mum, they were as big as WOODLICE!!”


  1. Have to say these day the damn things tend to be SUPERLICE as well. Buggeringly hard to get rid of. Having said that, interesting that since Faun left St Chavs and All Saints, she's not had a single case of them...

  2. We dealt with lice last month. Hell, I tell you. Hell.

  3. My wife and I are both teachers and we wish there was a nit nurse. It would make our lives easier.

  4. Schools in Belgium still have a person come in on Wednesdays. The kids are quarantined and sent home. Yet we've had lice twice this year already. Sigh...

  5. After dealing with a few lice I'm inclined to think that they move on when they are ready. I live in France and we were all given a letter and asked to start using anti lice products all at the same time.

    I'm just so glad we never had to deal with worms...

  6. Amanda Muldowney10/5/11

    My daughter had head lice 4 times due to a constantly infested child, I used to comb through using lenor instead of conditioner, it worked a treat, took about a week of combing through every other day. I never used the chemical alternative as it smelt so awful

  7. Chua YingJie25/7/12

    I had head lice before..... never want to have them again.... its so disgusting under a microscope... even the eggs....

  8. I remeber it from my school time. We had to sit down at our bench, waiting for the nursery teachers to come and inspect your hair. I absolutely hated the idea of people who I barely knew touching me. I always felt really uncomfortable. In my time (about 25 years ago...) girls with lice got the advice to cut their hair as short as possible. To prevent the lice from coming back. Do they still give that advice?
    And I remember the shampoo. Horrible, stinking shampoo, coloured blue. When you used that stuff your head would be blue for days and the smell was so hard to get rid of. My mom used the oldest towels she could find. They were stached away at the back of thw cupboard so nobody would use them. But if you were unlucky enough to pull one out, you could smell it on your hands for hours.


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