/ Health, Parenting

Parents, there’s no need to lie about head lice

Boy sitting on blocks spelling 'LICE'

Apparently a quarter of parents lie (or at least keep quiet) about whether their children have head lice. But there’s no need to be in denial or embarrassed – just be open and sort the pesky things out!

The survey (from a lice treatment manufacturer seeking a name-check) says that 29% of dads and 20% of mums don’t tell the school or other parents when their child has head lice.

However, six in ten mothers apparently said that their greatest school-related fear was their child coming home with head lice. I don’t know about you, but of all the possible school-related fears – from ‘your child’s gone to hospital’ through to ‘could you manage the bouncy castle at the school fair?’ – I’d put head lice pretty far down the list.

Lice are a rite of passage

Head lice or nits (the egg cases) are a rite of passage. My two children and I recently suffered from this affliction (unfairly, my husband escaped). It was indeed itchy and horrible. But we got a treatment from a pharmacy and once it went on, with a bit of combing, the lice disappeared in about a day.

If people are lying about lice, it’s probably for one of two reasons. They could be in denial. To those people, I’d stress that the treatment is straightforward – so just do it and don’t risk other kids catching lice from yours.

Alternatively, they’re embarrassed because of a perceived stigma. To those people I also say – just treat the damned things and get on with your life. And you’ll find that if you tell the school and other parents, it’ll be met not with disgust but with gratitude (I know this from experience).

Plus, if you’re worried that telling the school will mean your kids will have to stay home, then be comforted by this, from the NHS website:

“There is no need for children with head lice to be kept off school. They will probably have had the infestation for several weeks, so keeping them away from school is unlikely to affect transmission.”

Lice are not fussy – clean hair, dirty hair, long or short, they’re happy to live in it. These myths and many others are busted in our guide to treating head lice. But, in general, don’t be scared of the lice or other parents and just get rid of them (the lice, that is).

Comments
Guest

Ugh these critters are nothing but an annoyance and waste of time and energy! After going through the tramatic event of combing my daughters hair with over the counter treatments that DID NOT work and dealing with the infestations for over a month I knew I had to do something in order to prevent this from happening again. I switched my hair care products over to Fairy Tales Hair Care, they have Rosemary Repel products that KEEP THE LICE AWAY!! I was hesitant at first but after my daughter was the only one who came home from a sleepover (another child had headlice) without headlice I became a true believer. I won’t stop using these products until my children are out of School.

http://www.fairytaleshaircare.com

Profile photo of chris
Guest

Simple conditioner, but lots of it and a lice comb do exactly the same job.

Lice can’t grip the conditioner saturated hair.

Over the counter Treatments don’t work because they have been diluted by law – some are quite nasty.

Profile photo of chris
Guest

My daughter is a (supply) Primary School Teacher.

We spend a fortune on hair conditioners hot water and she has to comb her hair thru in the shower after work, and it doesn’t matter if its a socially disadvantaged school or the poshest in Buckinghamshire – they all have the same problem.

Guest
Julie Aucott says:
13 September 2010

Tried chemical treatments ,some did not work, some smelt awful ,and they were expensive.
The best thing that worked for my daughters was conditioner and use fine comb when washing their hair. I always informed the school as it is not the childs fault !