11 Days ’til 40: Unwanted Visitors (of the creepy crawly variety)

10 Feb

lice comb

It happens to the best of us, it has happened in EVERY school I have worked in from inner cities to the most elite private schools.  We all get the infestations – Lice.  When most people hear the word “lice” they immediately react with dismay and all the psychosomatic effects kick right in – they start scratching even when no lice exist.  These are not the guests we want coming home with our children for dinner!

I am lucky not so lucky because I live in an area full of these visitors!  In a busy year, they can come home multiple times as a stowaway on my daughter’s heads.  In a quiet year, we do not see them – when we are lucky we go 18-24 months.

One of the things I find so interesting (and, frankly, frustrating) is the differing attitudes towards lice treatment.  Some families will choose to treat obsessively, while others do not seem to mind their child’s discomfort.  Some schools in our area do not have strict no knit policies, which means that they are fighting creepy crawlies constantly.

The first time one of my daughter’s got lice it was hard for me to handle, and I disinfected the entire home.  When it happened repeatedly (due to her attending school with a few families who were struggling to rid their homes of it) then I got less freaked out.  I learned that I could use a lice comb daily while giving my girls their baths and this eliminated about 90% of the risk of getting lice.  If they came home with a bug or two, the comb was bound to catch it before it spread.  I also bought Rosemary shampoo and conditioner, as rumor has it that lice cannot stand the smell of rosemary…..  I am not sure it really worked, but it made me feel better!

Now when our parents find that their children have lice, I make sure to let them know that lice do not discriminate against rich or poor, young our old – none of us are immune.  The best treatment is prevention and the best prevention is organizations with no knit policies.  When public schools have no nit policies, I like to see these coupled with resources for proper treatment.

So, today, 11 days ’til 40, I am glad that these unwanted visitors do not show up in our family often.  That said, after writing this post I find myself itching obsessively!



Posted by on February 10, 2013 in attitude, Children, Education, Parenting, Pets


Tags: , , , ,

30 responses to “11 Days ’til 40: Unwanted Visitors (of the creepy crawly variety)

  1. Long Life Cats and Dogs

    February 10, 2013 at 00:30

    Never come across lice before. Maybe it’s not such a big thing here. No idea really. Maybe I just got lucky

  2. Toniandrukaitis

    February 10, 2013 at 00:40

    Good info!

  3. viveka

    February 10, 2013 at 00:44

    Lice are increasing in schools over here. I went in school over 50 years ago and I never go lice – so why is it a problem now. Over here they sort of are blaming the immigrants.

  4. behindthemaskofabuse

    February 10, 2013 at 01:12

    i’m a hairstylist, and i haven’t heard the rosemary thing, definitely a no knit policy is best. knits actually like clean hair not dirty. washing all clothing and bedding, and stuffed animals in hot hot water will kill them off that stuff, there is a spray for clothing and furniture.

    the kits you get a pharmacies will be what kills the knits, you can put some tea tree oil in shampoo that will help.

    when we got people in the salon with them, we sent them packing, we could serve them. One time we had a whole wedding party bride and all come in full of them and we had to send them out. Ugh they’re a pain in the but!

  5. Another Thousand Words

    February 10, 2013 at 03:18

    So they are STILL a problem…as they were sixty years ago when I was in first grade? I find it amazing, 400, that with all our ‘technology’ and ‘health products’ and ‘cleaning supplies’ that the lice, roaches, bedbugs continue to abound!

    In case I forget, Happy Valentine’s Day to you, your partner and the girls…and eat ‘ a bit’ of chocolate, or…maybe more than a bit!

  6. deWriterMD

    February 10, 2013 at 06:29

    Reblogged this on MetaRead360 Small Press presents and commented:
    Lice…is that another code word for web crawlers too?

  7. lisapostonmurphy

    February 10, 2013 at 07:15

    Agh! I’m itch & wiggly now. 🙂

  8. sharonhughson

    February 10, 2013 at 17:49

    Yes, my head started itching as soon as you said “lice”:)
    I know there are some people in our rural community who still act like lice is for the filthy people only, but that’s ridiculous. They’re just little creepy crawlies that reproduce exponentially and are so minute they can be overlooked. I had sons, so we only had one visit. So much laundry and spraying…
    Thanks for addressing this topic with frankness and an open mind.

    • 400daystil40

      February 10, 2013 at 17:54

      You are welcome – hopefully my itching will stop soon – funny what the power of suggestion will do!

  9. B. M. Wells

    February 10, 2013 at 20:42

    11 more days! Looking forward to THAT post. I’m at the quarter life interval and am similarly trying to understand it all.

    Perhaps a retrospective of the last 389 days is in order for those of us new to your blog!

    • 400daystil40

      February 10, 2013 at 21:52

      Thanks so much! Yes, in the next 11 days (towards the end) there will be favorite photos and posts from the journey. 🙂

      • B. M. Wells

        February 11, 2013 at 19:55


  10. B. M. Wells

    February 10, 2013 at 20:43

    and I’m wondering if it is the itch/scratch of our recent posts that have brought us together! serendipity at its finest!

  11. Heather

    February 10, 2013 at 21:59

    lol…my head began to itch as soon as I saw the word lice…my grandsons got lice when they were around 8 or so…my daughter freaked out…as luck would have it I was going to a DR. appointment and had her come along with me on the pretext we were going to lunch after…I then had her come in and speak with the DR…who explained very kindly what to do about the situation, she also explained that when she was a school girl in Africa lice were a normal occurrence and her and her cousins would sit on the door stoop and pick the lice out of each others hair on a daily basis…lol this has got me scratching as I’m typing…my daughter went on to be the lice monitor in my grandson’s school…yes prevention, with a “no nit” policy is the only way to have any control at all!

    • 400daystil40

      February 11, 2013 at 22:50

      Yes, I have been itching for almost a week straight – and I keep asking people to check me – they all assure me there are no unwanted visitors hanging out on my head! Yes, I have heard that lice is very common in many countries.

  12. Annie Oosterwyk

    February 10, 2013 at 23:22

    Wow, I can’t believe I missed all your other posts. What a GREAT idea for a blog. Thanks for following my coursework blog. I do plan to keep it up after the class ends. I teach in public school and am definitely familiar with lice outbreaks. I hope the rosemary shampoo works for you, it smells delicious.

    • 400daystil40

      February 11, 2013 at 22:48

      Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂

  13. thelastsongiheard

    February 11, 2013 at 05:52

    LOL I scratched my head three times reading this 😛

    Is it true that lice prefer clean hair? I seem to remember hearing that once…

    • 400daystil40

      February 11, 2013 at 22:46

      Yes, it is definitely true that they prefer clean hair…

  14. Single Mom Confidential

    February 11, 2013 at 20:20

    Its the most unwanted guest I have ever had in my home. Thankful to have two boys so shaving their heads was the easiest way to rid of them but that doesnt help the mindset any. We found ourselves itching for weeks just from the thought of it. Thanks for visiting my blog… Im looking forward to following your journey to the BIG 4-0!

    • 400daystil40

      February 11, 2013 at 22:40

      You are lucky, I have two girls with long hair – one with long, VERY CURLY hair – it was not fun for us!


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