My son came home from school the other day with his backpack stuffed full of books and papers.
As I sifted through his homework, worksheets, and notes from his teachers, I came across a paper from the school nurse.
“A child in your child’s class has been diagnosed with head lice.”
First, I thought, “Oh no!”
And next, I thought, “I have to call my friend.”
It was just earlier that morning that I spoke with my best friend that lives out of state. Her kids contracted head lice and she has been living with treating it for weeks.
I have talked to her several times during this period and each day she sounds more fatigued than the last.
Not only does she have to treat everyone’s hair in the family with the medicated shampoo but she has to wash all clothes, bedding, and washable toys every day.
She is washing four or five loads of clothes every single day, and has been for weeks. Her entire day is killing the lice and trying to rid them from her home.
“it’s worse than pink eye,” She told me. “Once you have it, it is so hard to get rid of.”
Not to mention, her family is quarantined. She isn’t going to work. (She works at a gym day care.)
Her kids aren’t playing with other kids. They aren’t going to museums, libraries or any social gathering places.
Everyone is bored with the routine of getting up, starting the laundry, and the chore of combing through everyone's hair and removing the eggs or nits.
Items like combs and brushes must be boiled, once used. She has put all items that she can’t wash into plastic bags where they will stay for weeks as they wait for the bugs inside to die.
This is a lot of work, a big disruption of everyday life, and a huge pain for everyone involved. No, it is not a health hazard but it is an incredible inconvenience and expense.
I can hear the exhaustion in her voice when we talk. I know this is something that we don’t want to catch.
I asked her a lot of questions about lice. She knows most of the answers. She has spent much time researching head lice.
Here's some helpful information from the CDC website, containing frequently asked questions, signs, treatment and information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parasites - Lice - Head Lice
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Parasites - Lice - Head Lice: Prevention and Control
Edited by Jody Smith