Pillows/stuffed animals & creepy crawlies

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by knittingbec, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. knittingbec

    knittingbec Comrade

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    Jun 15, 2007

    This year, I had 5 bean bag chairs in my classroom, but they were "shedding" all over so I got rid of them. They had a long run at our school and it was time!
    I threw away a few stuffed animals, one had a gaping hole in it and I know it's been in the room for at least 2 years, and since we have ants & mice in our school, I didn't want to bring it home to wash and repair it.

    Next year, I want to have pillows for the kids to sit on while reading, etc. My thought is that they're more compact than bean bag chairs, and I can make them with a zipper and just uncover them, wash the covers and buy new pillow-forms if I find they are too gross by years-end, or if we have a lice outbreak.
    How do you feel about and manage pillows/stuffed animals in your room? Have you had any problems with dust mites, bugs, lice or other creepy crawlies?
     
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  3. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2007

    I currently have ants in my classroom that come in through the outside door. The maintenance person has set up special ant traps with poison by the door. The poison keeps them close to the door.

    So far as lice goes, I haven't had any this year in my classroom. However, my second year of teaching I had a student who always had lice. She'd get rid of it and then come back to school with it. I didn't allow my students to sit in my recliner anymore because of the problem (have since gotten rid of it) and used plastic garbage bags for the students to put their belongings into each day to prevent the spread of the lice. I do have pillows in my room this year, but they are rarely used. When they are not being used, we store them in the cupboard to keep them up off the floor. I think the lice issue depends a lot of the population of your kids. I teach in a lower income area, so we tend to see more of a lice problem. At my first school, I didn't have a problem at all. Anyhow...hope that helps.
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 16, 2007

    I don't agree with that statement. Lice doesn't see income. Lower income families have less resources to deal with lice.

    My own daughter came home with it and it took forever to get rid of it from my own house! By the time you factor in time off of work and cleaning supplies, I probably spent close to $200 to get rid of it from my house. That's a lot of money for a low income family.

    We live in a middle income area and for 3 or 4 years the school my children went to had a lice problem. Once you get it, it's hard to get rid of. I also know that many families won't admit that their child had lice so they don't tell the school why their child was absent.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2007

    I had a very small class and the kids loved the pillows and stuffed animals and used them every day. We never had a bug or lice problem, though we had a tiny mouse nest in a stuffed animal in the closet and die there. The odor gave it away. Some of the kids fooled around with the animals too much during read-aloud, too.

    I'm just tired of the pillows all over the floor and some of the animals shed, others had stuffing coming out, so I tossed two huge bags full of all the pillows and animals except two large floor pillows. I took them to the dry cleaners.
     
  6. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Jun 16, 2007

    I've decided to get rid of all the pillows in my library. I had bean bags, but they're really old, so I'm probably going to throw those away too.

    I've decided to buy a toddler bed and place that in the library with one of those mattresses that have plastic on the outside. You know, one of those cute toddler beds. It will make an inviting, yet sanitary area on which the children can sit.

    I also have a student who continously had head lice. She missed over 35 days of school and had over 9 outbreaks. Her family couldn't afford to buy the medication necessary to treat it. Basically, everytime she came back, I checked her head and sent her back home. It's for this reason that I've decided to make this changes. That way I can just go over the matress and bed with bleach.

    What do you guys think? :D
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2007

    I read in the paper that Listerine works on head lice. They aren't sure why. It was in a wholistic med column.
     
  8. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Wow I just read a few articles on it. I'm looping with my students, and if the little girl and her family haven't moved, I will share that with the Aunt. Perhaps it will make it easier to control. The little girl is very sweet, doesn't talk much, but she is very smart. Even though she missed so many days, she's still almost on grade level. To me, it's a big accomplishment consideirng her absences.

    I just never would have thought about listerine. Wow!
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2007

    If I'm back at my school next year. I'm buying dog beds at Sam's Club for my window seats.


    As for lice outbreaks. We used to hand out tea tree oil at a day care I worked at. I guess it helps kill the lice. Also I heard that all bedding: pillows, sheets, comforters all have to be bagged for a month to totally get rid of the eggs.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    She was probably too busy scratching her head to say much.
     
  11. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2007

    kpa1b2:

    Yes I agree with you and should of clarified what I meant. Our families have a difficult time getting rid of the lice once they get it. I didn't mean that it meant that lower income kids caught it more...sorry for the lack of clarification.
     
  12. elem_teacher3

    elem_teacher3 Companion

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    Jun 17, 2007

    Where there are kids...you will have lice...no matter what the economics of the area is. Lice don't care...and I read that they prefer clean heads to dirty...hmmm

    Just talking about the little buggers makes my head itch...scratch, scratch.

    I have heard of the tea tree oil. I also heard to put it in your shampoo and conditioner for a preventive measure.
     
  13. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Jun 17, 2007

    We use the comfy, inviting, pleather-covered cushions for reading corners. Easy to bleach, yet still comfy.

    During high school, my whole cheerleading squad came down with lice. :p
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2007

    Andrea, Thanks for clarifying. Some people do think it is a lower income disease. But, lice prefer clean hair to dirty hair.

    Mayo also works. Someone told me that their grandmother would wash hair in gasoline. Not something I would recommend or try.

    Whenever I get a notice from my children's school I ask who was absent. (the note says that someone in your child's class has lice). Alot of times my son will even know who had lice. I always check his head, wash his sheets & if it's winter, toss his coat in the dryer.
     
  15. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jun 17, 2007

    We have a stupid law in Maine now that says you can't send a child home because of head lice. You can notify the parents and it's their choice if they want to take the child out of school.
     
  16. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Jun 17, 2007

    The most sure method of getting rid of head lice:
    Wet hair and goop on Pantene conditioner. (I'm not sure why, but that's what the experts recommend) Comb very well with an ultra fine tooth comb, brand name is Niska. (I've found that other companies are harder to use, and don't do as good a job.) Make sure to comb entire head, in all directions. Pay extra attention to the nape of the neck and area above the ears. Do the same with baking soda. Rinse well and blow dry on the highest temperature the child can handle. Do this daily until no nits or lice are found for 3 days in a row. Continue combing every other day for 2 weeks, in case there were any nits that were too small to come out-it takes approximately 2 weeks for them to hatch.
    Wash and dry all clothing/bedding on the highest possible temperature.
    Once you get rid of the lice, spray hair daily with apple cider vinegar. Lice are less attracted to hair that has been sprayed. One thing to be aware of though, is that it smells, so don't do it right before the child is going to school. You don't want to ostracize a kid once it's gone!
    The last experience I had with lice, it was discovered on a Monday and gone by Thursday. Now I'm itching like crazy, so I hope someone has benefited from this!
     
  17. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Wow Jaime! They don't send the children home? Head Lice can spread so easily from child to child and to the teacher. I'm glad my school allows me to send mine home. I have only one caucasian child, and she is always the one to get it. One time the Aunt wouldn't come pick her up, so I told the office she'd have to stay in there with them. I cannot risk coming down with that and missing school. :p

    I feel for you :(
     
  18. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    Jun 17, 2007

    One of my teacher friends says that if you blow dry your hair and use products like gel etc, that you are less likely to get lice.

    I remember getting lice when I was in the second grade. I got sent home from school because of it. My mom took every piece of clothing, bedding, etc to the laundry mat and we washed EVERYTHING. Then we used the head lice shampoo. I can remember being at Fred Meyer at like 10:00 p.m. looking for that stuff. My mom also rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned all the carpets. The amount of work that you have to do to get rid of lice is exhausting.
     
  19. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 17, 2007

    One tip our schools recommend is to use coconut scented conditioner. Suave makes a very inexpensive versions and of all of the kids that I know used it last year, none of them got lice. One option to replace the stuffed animals are the vinyl type that are made for toddler classrooms. They can be wiped clean to disinfect easily.
     
  20. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jun 18, 2007

    You're making me laugh this morning. It's about the mouse nesting in the stuffed animal. It just made me think about the 5-10 animals that are stored in the middle closet over the summer.

    I don't keep the animals down where the kids are... they're high on the bookshelf. As for the pillows, it worked at the beginning of last year, and then one day I couldn't take it any longer. They're stored in the high storage cabinet now so the class doesn't see or desire them.
     
  21. 2tired2teach

    2tired2teach Companion

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    Jun 18, 2007

    I found a place that gave me carpet samples (the rectangles) and the kids will lay on them on sit on them. That works well.
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2007

    Watch out for that closet. That's where our critter found her home. Poor little thing. Stunk to high heaven.

    I'm going to use those rubber-y interlocking pieces that Wal Mart had last year - supposed to be bulletin board pieces.
     

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