I was one of those kids in school that got lice over and over and over again. My mom was disabled and had a hard time combing through all my hair. She tried taking me to salons for help. Salons do not take kindly to anyone bringing lice into their establishment, with good reason. I remember being treated with shampoos many times. Please, do NOT do that! Read my other lice posts for reasons why.
My eldest daughter recently turned up with lice (again). Much like me, she has had many infestations. In the past, she has been treated with nasty shampoos and even ovacides. I've since done the research on those and they are seriously some scary things to be putting on our kids' scalps. She had plans she didn't want to miss, so she (for the second time) opted to shave her head. She wears it really well!
And then there's the stigma associated with lice. Let me be quite clear, anyone can get lice. And you know what? We all get all kinds of bugs! Ever had a flu bug? How about a "stomach bug?" Or "that bug that's going around?" But people feel embarrassed and ashamed about lice in their family. The only difference is that lice don't go away on their own.
If your kid(s) turns up with lice, try not to freak out. Remember, that is still your baby... they just have "a bug." If your child has been around other people recently, tell them! By keeping it to yourself, you're only giving the lice a chance to spread, maybe even back into your own household again. And don't keep taking your child places! You wouldn't want to expose people to any other "bug," lice is no different.
Be honest with your kids. I discovered a bug on Sasha as we arrived at a play date. I immediately apologized to our host, explained and excused us. Yes, Sasha was crushed. Yes, I was disappointed. But my friends, I hope, appreciated that we did not want to expose their babies or their household to lice.
For lice treatments, please see my lice posts or check out Head Lice.org. Since Sasha was wearing her swim suit and expecting to play in water, I brought her home and stuck her directly into the tub to play... while I combed, trimmed and then fine-combed her hair. I'll continue to fine-comb it (in the tub, because its the best / easiest distraction for us) at least once per day until I'm sure they're gone. On the second day I was still finding babies, but no adults. She won't go to any play dates or have any friends over (we had no plans anyway). Yes, that can be a pain. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease was a pain, too!
What emotions are associated with lice for you?