Lousy Louse (Yes, We’re Talking Lice Here)
Thursday, August 9th, 2012
WARNING WARNING WARNING – THIS POST WILL MAKE YOU ITCH!
School in my part of the country hasn’t even been in session for a week yet. And already, a notification has been sent home that lice have been detected in one of the kindergarten classrooms.
So I did what any other good parent would do – and FREAKED THE HECK OUT!
$130 at the store for shampoo, home sprays, car sprays – and despite the fact that home fumigating isn’t protocol for lice, I bought enough bombs for the entire house. I washed all the linens, bagged up pillows, and pretty much followed all the steps outlined by the CDC.
All this, and WE DIDNT EVEN HAVE IT! Thorough head checks revealed my home was lice free, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
When school started back on Monday I was shocked that my kindergartener, who had such a lovely day on Friday, was nervous about returning to school. Duh, I probably frightened her to pieces with my (admitted) extremely overboard reaction to the pesky little parasites that most moms know as lice. My husband nearly killed me when I purchased shower caps for my kids and made them all wear them to bed. (And no, I am not joking!)
Truth is, it has been a while since I have had a tiny kid in school, and this was one part of the educational process I was happy to have forgotten.
Sadly, after reviewing dozens of school policies – even those located at the US Board of Education – I discovered that each and every school district handles lice outbreaks in their own way. And often times, it means that YOU – as a parent – WILL NOT always be informed that a child in your child’s class was found to have an active infestation of lice.
In fact, most parents find out when their preschooler or young child comes home and says, “Mama, why was the teacher going through my hair with a pencil today?”
Are lice the end of the world? Does it mean you are dirty or filthy? Absolutely not. Do only ‘nasty’ people get lice? No. Are the chances of your child getting lice pretty high? According to the CDC, 2.6 (not sure how you can have 2.6 kids) out of every 4 kids in grades 5 and below will likely end up with a bout of lice at some point in their educational career.
But for most moms it is still creepy. When I went to lunch yesterday with my daughter I spent most of the half hour scouring over the kids in my daughter’s class trying to figure out who it was that had lice. Was that boy across from us scratching his head?
At any rate – the possibilities could drive any mom crazy. And I realized last night that I needed to calm the heck down, and stop freaking out my child. We went over the simple prevention rules – such as not lying down on carpets, not sharing hair bows or combs, and so on, and I decided to leave my worries at that. Until I hear further, I will check her head each afternoon just to make sure. (But I did throw the shower caps in the trash this morning.)
What about you? Have you had to deal with lice yet? Any tips or advice for other moms about how to handle lousy back-to-school lice?