Be a Friend, Tell a Friend: Why you should tell everyone you know when your child gets lice

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No one is extremely happy about their child getting head lice.  I’ve often heard people say “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”  Well guess what your child did get it from someone, but keep in mind that chances are your child also gave it to someone close to them as well.  It is because of this that parents need to be responsible when their children are diagnosed with lice and inform everyone that their child has been in contact with for the past 2 weeks.  Many parents still get embarassed when their child has lice and want to keep it secret.  That type of thinking will perpetuate an outbreak and often leads to reinfestation.  Here are some simple steps of communication that can help you tell others.

1.)  Contact your child’s teacher and let them know that he/she has been found to have lice and has been treated.  What the teacher does with this information will vary upon the teacher.  If you don’t notice a letter or email going out to the class, I would recommend that you take it upon yourself to send one to the parents in your child’s class.  These children spend a large part of their day in school in close contact with one another and it is very possible that it was the source of the infestation in the first place.  However, if a parent doesnt know there is lice in the class, chances are they won’t be looking for it.

2.)  Reach out to your child’s playmates.  This would include any neighbors or children who your child has played with over the last couple of weeks.  If you don’t know a parent’s number, ask someone who does.

3.)  Tell any family members who have been in contact with your child.  It is not impossible for grandparents to contract head lice.  It happens more often than you think.

4.)  Contact your child’s Sunday school teacher and coaches/teachers of any other after school activities they attend.

5.)  Last but not least…..Make sure every member of your household is thoroughly examined.  Nearly half of head lice cases are transferred on to siblings, and one third are transferred on to moms.  Dads luckily only contract it about 3% of the time (sorry moms, we are still waiting for our first dad with head lice)

Head lice is nothing to be embarrassed about.  It happens…..you should not hide it.  Trust me many parents will be thankful that you let them know.  If you do decide to keep it yourself, please make sure that your child is free of live bugs before you send them to school or on a playdate.  A child is considered lice free only after you have combed their hair and nothing is found.

 

 

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