Lousy Louse (Yes, We’re Talking Lice Here)

Lousy Louse (Yes, We’re Talking Lice Here) Picture


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?

What do you think?

Lousy Louse (Yes, We’re Talking Lice Here)

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (with just ONE bathroom mind you) on a farm - with tons of animals of course. One day, due to her sheer aversion to shoes and her immense lov ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Bernadette Bernadette says:

    The best home remedy for headlice is Cetaphil. To treat lice, Cetaphil skin cleanser is applied liberally to the hair and scalp. Use a blow dryer after application. (It will form a hard shell on the hair.) Leave the hardened Cetaphil on the hair overnight and shampoo it out the next morning. All the lice should be dead (Pediatrics, Sept. 2004). The procedure can be repeated a week later, if needed.

    In addition to avoiding toxic chemicals, this "shrink-wrap" method that suffocates the lice eliminates the need to comb out the nits by hand, a tedious procedure for both parents and children.

  2. Profile photo of lauren lauren says:

    As a professional "nitpicker", I see a lot of lice! For me, they don’t "bug" me, but to most others, they do. Most children, if not all, at some point in time, will encounter lice and honestly, it is not that bad, What I can advise, is NOT to use the OTC chemicals. They are a waste of money and time as they do not work. Lice have become resistant to them over the years and besides, they are toxic. There is honestly nothing more effective and safer than a good lice comb. I use The LiceMeister and it is the one recommended by the National Pediculosis Association (headlice.org). Feel free to visit my website, http://www.potomaclicelady.com for other helpful tips on how to deal with lice.

  3. Profile photo of veronica veronica says:

    I dont know what I’d do, all 3 of my boys, my husband, me and all our friends have long hair..lol would be one heck of fiasco around here!

  4. Profile photo of Zenobiasmom Zenobiasmom says:

    🙁 omg I really hope when my daughter goes to school we wont have a problem with them

  5. Profile photo of Kaelyn Kaelyn says:

    another great home remedy is completely coat the hair with mayonaisse and wrap it with cling wrap let set for an hour and then wash hair with dawn dish soap….dont know why but it works everytime and your hair comes out amazingly smooth plus its a cheap alternative to shampoos.

  6. Profile photo of Kaelyn Kaelyn says:

    Lice is deffinately something you want to keep an eye out for simply doing a quick check when your child comes home from school can help to decrease the chance of a serios outbreak.

  7. Profile photo of marylove marylove says:

    A bunch of kids at my son’s preschool had them but we were lucky enough that I had just cut his hair so he never got them!

  8. Profile photo of nydia rivera nydia rivera says:

    No, but my cousin had it so bad that she was full of them, her mother hadn’t even noticed that her daughter had lice practically falling off of her head. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, I didn’t visit for 4 months!

  9. Profile photo of Steph Steph says:

    Im a mom of three and take care of four other kids. Lice has been a big problem. You can go pay all that money for over the counter shampoos and you can also talk to your child’s doctor. There is a great prescription shampoo that they can sleep with it on then wash it out in the morning. You also have to clean everything. I put all the stuffed animals in the dryer. The heat will kill them. Then everything else I use bleach water. I tell all my parents for about two weeks after to spray their hair down with vinegar then comb it out. The vinegar will cut through the glue that keeps the eggs attached. Then let then take a bath as normal. Sounds weird but it works great. And don’t worry lice is no way a sing of a dirty child.

  10. Profile photo of debbie debbie says:

    I’ve seen them at work.


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