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something really bad happened


mel1

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My 5 yr. old got sent home from school because she had a flea in her hair. And again the next week. And then a tick the next week. We have a huge critter problem in the neighborhood. We have been spraying and treating the animals, but didn't get them all and unfortunately called child protective services on us. A lady cop person came to our house. thank god it was clean. she asked the kids, especially my daughter, a lot of questions. saw my kids rooms, which have everything a kid could want or need. She rolled her eyes at the stupid reason to call for neglect. i hate her teacher. i'm scared my kids are going to be taken away. just because of damn fleas. we have a major expensive pest control coming out and getting the animals dipped. yard and house sprayed. money back guarantee. i am sort of freaking. is this a dumb reason to call CPS, or is it just me? Can they take my kids if they happen to find another flea on them? boooo. ;)

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Yeah, that's pretty low down to call CPS. I'm not sure I could keep my anger under control if CPS ever showed up, if I had kids. but I guess I would have to for their sake.

You can have flea problems and not even have animals. One apartment I lived in Jacksonville, Fl got infested three times, and I didn't have any pets! I finally noticed fleas jumping onto my light colored trousers one day after work as I cut across the lawn. The durn things were coming off other pets into the grass, hitching a ride on my trousers and jumping into my carpet inside. The apartment manager sprayed the lawns, I bombed the apartment, vaccumed the carpet, stopped walking on the lawn and brushed off my trousers before coming in the door. Florida is bad for fleas because it never freezes.

Things you need to do:

- spray the house & yard

- a day or two later vacuum the house and immediately empty vacuum contents.

- re-vacuum and immediately empty vacuum contents every 4 or 5 days for a couple week

- pick up animal droppings every few days

- Get your critters onto the internal flea treatments from your vet. These are usually either an oral tablet or paste that you put on their back

Fleas hatch out about every two weeks so it's possible to kill the adults and have more hatch out a few days later. Empty the vacuum cleaner to prevent them from escaping back into the house.

Good luck! a.m. "itch, itch"

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I'm no expert, but unless you are harming your kids in some way: neglecting them, not giving them proper care, not feeding them, doing drugs in front of them, beating them, verbally abusing them, sexually abusing them, etc - you get the idea...so no, they can't take them away bc your kid had ONE flea on her two weeks in a row and then had a tick on her. Hell, I had all kinds of pests on me growing up on a farm - I had ringworm for crissakes. It kinda goes with the territory - especially when you have pets.

What might be the issue with this teacher? There's obviously something else afoot here.

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Oh, for pity sake! Don't these stoopid people have better things to do? Of course your daughter gets a flea now and then---you have DOGS!! sheesh.

Well, as AM said, putting Frontline on the dogs (and cat---I think you have a cat?) will make the fleas and ticks hop off. But then they will want to live in your carpet and chairs and stuff. So keep vacuuming, and the kids have to take a hot shower every day and shampoo the hair thoroughly. For a few weeks, wash all the clothing in hot water, and the bed linens. Towels, too. If you keep at it for a few weeks, I bet you can get rid of them.

When you're feeling calm, you might meet with the teacher and explain the measures you've taken to have a clean home. If she's not a pet person, maybe she doesn't understand that animals get fleas and ticks. In warm weather I can find 10-12 ticks on my cats every day.

olga

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Frontline is fantastic. Works like a charm, but not overnight. To check for stray fleas around the house (in mostly suspected areas), throw a white piece of paper or a white sheet down. AM just mentioned them jumping on his light trousers... for some reason, they're attracted to white. I don't understand flea psychology, so I don't know why. Okay, back to Frontline, I believe - don't quote me on this - but the fleas bite the medicated pet, and it in turn sterilizes them or their eggs. trouble is, that cycle can take 3 weeks to play out.

I would be livid, enraged and THEN some if CPS came knocking on my door for something so ridiculous as fleas. That is absolutely absurd. Personally, I would talk to a supervisor, as well as the principal at the school. Something's wrong with the teacher, NOT you. Maybe she has the heebie-jeebies for things like that, but that doesn't excuse this outrageous behavior.

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Great suggestion on using the white paper or towel. Lots easier to spot the little buggers. Hopefully I won't have to use it. I check my ankles for bites, since I'm exquisitely allergic to them.

I don't know why the teacher couldn't have called, or sent an email. Ticks are NO indicator of hygiene, unless a kid was just loaded with them. Even then, as a pre-teen I can remember picking up literally hundreds of 'seed' ticks walking around the farm. And the girl could have had a flea hop from one kid onto her at school. Finding two single fleas is no proof she even got them at home. sheesh.

a.m.

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There are certainly worse things things to send a kid to school with than fleas and ticks.

Diatomaceous earth is a nice mechanical insecticide. You can sprinkle it on your lawn and in your carpets and it will kill every creepy-crawly (except slugs I think) it comes into contact with within a minute or two. You can use it on your pets if you buy the food-grade kind. It's nontoxic to us mammal folk, but it can be harmful if too much is ingested.

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Thank you so much everyone for the replies. All of our animals have been and do get treated w/ frontline and revolution for the kitties. we don't have any carpet. Truly Nolen came by the house to do an assessment yesterday and they are coming fri. to spray house and sat. to spray yard. kids hair gets scrubbed every morn. before school. we are going to try and get the oral flea killer for the dogs. i have 3 dogs and 3 cats. the pest control guy said the area we live in is exceptionally bad for fleas and ticks because of alll the hurricanes a few yrs. back. i am going to write a note to the teacher and bitch clinic lady. i know it had to be one of them who called. i could tell the cps woman thought it was a dumb thing to call about. our kids are very obviously not neglected. i'm glad this happened when i am stable. i can't imagine how bad i would be taking this if i were depressed. the most my kids have ever been neglected is when i was in a serious depression but that was just lack of attention, which my bf took care of. i definitely put this thread in the right place- stupid people really do suck. ;)

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As a fellow parent, I, like AM would have been quite pissed. That is a bit over the top. I would like to know what criteria these people were basing the decision to call CPS on. Surely your child can't be the only one who comes to school with an extra critter on them? And now that they have done that, how can you ever trust them again to tell you the truth?

If it were me, I would go right into the school and demand an apology. To both you and your child. That is just ridiculous

In any case, you handled that well.

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There are certainly worse things things to send a kid to school with than fleas and ticks.

Diatomaceous earth is a nice mechanical insecticide. You can sprinkle it on your lawn and in your carpets and it will kill every creepy-crawly (except slugs I think) it comes into contact with within a minute or two. You can use it on your pets if you buy the food-grade kind. It's nontoxic to us mammal folk, but it can be harmful if too much is ingested.

Why do people think it's a good solution to pour toxic chemicals into the ground to "kill every creepy-crawly"??!

Insects are an important part of the ecosystem. To kill them off is to seriously fuck with our environment from the ground level up, sort of like trying to get rid of all the bacteria in your body. For example, birds will eat those poisoned insects and die, too. Those poisons seep into the ground and cause more damage than you realize.

Can you focus on controlling the fleas in your home, without killing every living thing outside? I use Advantage on my cats, comb them daily and keep them indoors. They have no fleas.

Please explore non-toxic alternatives, and let nature be.

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In any case, you handled that well.

i have to agree with that!

sorry that awful crap happened. i also would have been too livid to be rational. there was no basis for them to come to your home AT ALL.

my kid got sent home from school in grade three for having head lice. i INSISTED she did not have head lice - she has extremely dry scalp in the wintertime, and those little white flakes are unsightly but they AREN'T bugs. nevertheless, we went through the horrible delousing procedures anyway - only to have the teacher not believe me when the dry scalp was still there the next day. at least she didn't call CPS. but from then on, the teacher never treated me the same, because i didn't stand up for myself and demand an apology. don't let that teacher treat you like a bad parent. let her know she's a "lousy" teacher ;)

-lysergia

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MG,

As I mentioned before, fleas can infest the lawn. MEL has dogs that can't be kept inside, and every time they go outside they will be attacked by the fleas. The only way to get control of the situation is to spray the lawn as well. Are you advocating she risk losing her kids instead of spraying?

a.m.

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Diatomaceous earth is a nice mechanical insecticide.

Why do people think it's a good solution to pour toxic chemicals into the ground to "kill every creepy-crawly"??!

Diatomaceous earth - it's ground made up of "creepy-floaties" to begin with. Not a toxic chemical at all unless you're afraid of sand getting into your environment.

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Diatomaceous earth is a nice mechanical insecticide.

Why do people think it's a good solution to pour toxic chemicals into the ground to "kill every creepy-crawly"??!

Diatomaceous earth - it's ground made up of "creepy-floaties" to begin with. Not a toxic chemical at all unless you're afraid of sand getting into your environment.

It's an excellent soil additive or can be used as a medium for growing some plants.

It's also considered an OK insecticide to use for organic farming. It works by "drying out" the insects, rather than poisoning them. The insects never become resistant to diatomaceous earth because it's a mechanical rather than chemical insecticide. It does kill good insects too, so be careful.

I love this stuff. Ahh, the little things.

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What a sweet bit of social commentary this is.

Mel, you're providing a great home with pets and a yard to play in. Fleas and ticks, and bumps and scrapes are part of playing outside, fer cryin' out loud! Most kids need a yard to romp in way more than they need a bath.

I agree with others here that you should speak with the teacher, but definitely with someone else present, like the principal or school counselor. Stress the importance of kids playing hard and getting dirty. And let her know that you're very extremely disappointed in her decision to call CPS rather than express her concern directly to you.

Gah! I would be shaking mad. I think you handled it all very well.

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MG,

As I mentioned before, fleas can infest the lawn. MEL has dogs that can't be kept inside, and every time they go outside they will be attacked by the fleas. The only way to get control of the situation is to spray the lawn as well. Are you advocating she risk losing her kids instead of spraying?

a.m.

I wasn't advocating anything except looking for alternatives to poisons, Air Marshall. Don't put words in my mouth.

It's obvious that Mel's kids are not neglected, and everyone agrees that sending a kid home because someone found a flea is ridiculous. But it sounds like people are overreacting by suggesting to kill every living thing, which is not only unnecessary, it's harmful on a much larger scale.

MG

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Please explore non-toxic alternatives, and let nature be.

Um, Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic, and mostly made of fossils and naturally occurring chemical elements like magnesium.

From www.ghorganics.com/DiatomaceousEarth.html:

"DE is approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural (not calcined or flux calcined) compound."

Also taken from there:

Diatomaceous Earth will not harm warm-blooded animals or earthworms

Earthworm farmers use it to treat their worm beds for parasites, fungus gnat larva etc. Earth worms are structurally different from insects in that they can actually digest particles of DE.

And although it does say to avoid prolonged breathing of it, it's much safer than other compounds.

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Thank s again for the support and advice. Pest control is coming out today to spray the house and tomorrow to spray the yard. they are an environmentally friendly company and the stuff they are using is not harmful to kids and animals. If I kill any extra critters, like crickets , i love crickets, then sorry! like some of you said, it is more important to not have cps come to my house again and possibly take my kids. that would be traumatic for them. and for us. my mother, who is a guardian-ad-litem(sp?), said they most likely dismissed the case and worse case scenario would be for them to take them to a close relative because they don't have enough foster homes. I personallly think the teacher should be in trouble for false reporting. jmo. melissa

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