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!
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!