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Kids and Head Lice

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children with head lice Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

My son came home from school the other day with his backpack stuffed full of books and papers.

As I sifted through his homework, worksheets, and notes from his teachers, I came across a paper from the school nurse.

“A child in your child’s class has been diagnosed with head lice.”

First, I thought, “Oh no!”

And next, I thought, “I have to call my friend.”

It was just earlier that morning that I spoke with my best friend that lives out of state. Her kids contracted head lice and she has been living with treating it for weeks.

I have talked to her several times during this period and each day she sounds more fatigued than the last.

Not only does she have to treat everyone’s hair in the family with the medicated shampoo but she has to wash all clothes, bedding, and washable toys every day.

Every day.

She is washing four or five loads of clothes every single day, and has been for weeks. Her entire day is killing the lice and trying to rid them from her home.

“it’s worse than pink eye,” She told me. “Once you have it, it is so hard to get rid of.”

Not to mention, her family is quarantined. She isn’t going to work. (She works at a gym day care.)

Her kids aren’t playing with other kids. They aren’t going to museums, libraries or any social gathering places.

Everyone is bored with the routine of getting up, starting the laundry, and the chore of combing through everyone's hair and removing the eggs or nits.

Items like combs and brushes must be boiled, once used. She has put all items that she can’t wash into plastic bags where they will stay for weeks as they wait for the bugs inside to die.

This is a lot of work, a big disruption of everyday life, and a huge pain for everyone involved. No, it is not a health hazard but it is an incredible inconvenience and expense.

I can hear the exhaustion in her voice when we talk. I know this is something that we don’t want to catch.

I asked her a lot of questions about lice. She knows most of the answers. She has spent much time researching head lice.

Here's some helpful information from the CDC website, containing frequently asked questions, signs, treatment and information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parasites - Lice - Head Lice

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parasites - Lice - Head Lice: Prevention and Control

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

You can also find great information about head lice, how to treat them, and how other mums deal with them here: http://www.linicin-headlice.co.uk/about-head-lice.php

For those at risk from head lice infestation, Linicin Prevent Spray is easy to use. You can view the product from the link above.

August 30, 2012 - 7:15am
EmpowHER Guest

A lice removal service is the fastest route to go. My company offers a money back guarantee that your child will be back in school the next day. The treatment is fast and effective in eliminating the pests. We offer many discounts and work with the community to make lice removal service more affordable. When you think lice think Simple!

August 9, 2012 - 3:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

The previous commenter is correct. The article mentions many recommendations that are based on misinformation and fear. Links to the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Association of School Nurses position papers can be found within the head louse FAQs at https://identify.us.com. This is the new site for information, guidance and help that I hosted for decades at Harvard. I've now enhanced the information and resources, and offer it at no cost at the new site.
-Richard Pollack, PhD (IdentifyUS LLC)

August 4, 2012 - 9:39am

All the cleaning and washing that your friend is doing is completely unnecessary. Lice cannot live more than a few hours off their human host. For the REAL 'facts of lice" http://www.theliceplace.com

August 3, 2012 - 5:06pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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