Staring Down The Stigma

Four sassy girls standing in front of a garage door looking directly into the camera.

Telling your child’s friends is a tough but necessary step to prevent a lice infestation from being passed back and forth among classmates, friends and teammates…

It’s surprising that in this reality show world, where a girl’s entrée to fame and fortune is a tape of an intimate moment with a boyfriend, that there still exists shame or embarrassment regarding lice. However, it’s still a hard sell to have moms and dads share the information that their children have lice. It’s part of the reason why the lice epidemic exists. If you don’t share that your children are infested, the other children who may have been exposed while in your company don’t get checked. Then they spread it.

Do Ask, Do Tell

But how to tell? And who really needs to know? The school, of course, is the first call you should make. It’s truly important to let them know what is going on in your child’s head. They do not share with others which child is infested, and classmates should be told immediately so they can all be checked and treated if needed.

Any sleepover guests in the previous weeks should be informed. Lice infestations are rarely found in the early stages, so advise anyone who’s been a guest in the last 6-8 weeks. (On another note, always have your children bring their own sleeping bags and pillows to sleepovers!) . Teammates, especially those who share helmets, should be told asap.

They care for your children, take care of them

Don’t forget to tell your caregivers: full-time nannies and occasional sitters alike. We’ve had several this week come in to the salon to be checked and they have all had it when the children did. Caught early, it can be a short visit. Consider paying for the treatment for your caregiver, after all, it’s likely caring for your children is the source of the infestation.

Finally, tell anyone who’s in your child’s inner circle – the kids your child hugs, and with whom she links arms and shares secrets. These kiddos are the most likely to have snuggled up and had the head-to-head contact that allows for lice transmission.

It really is in your best interest to share the news with as many contact points as possible…. It will keep the lice from circling back into your life once you’ve finally conquered it in your own home.

Photo credit: Mack Male

Melissa Black

Melissa Allen Black is the Founder and CEO of Honeycombers Lice Advice & Treatment Salon where she provides an incredibly clean, bright, warm location for lice treatment. She is also a resource to schools, camps, daycares and other organizations managing lice infestations.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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