This has to be one of the very worst email messages to receive from your child’s school, hands down:
Dear Gr. 3 Parents — I am writing to inform everyone that one case of head lice was reported in the class today. I have attached our Lice Procedure doc. Everyone should check their child’s head for lice tonite if you can. Please let me know immediately if anyone else has this issue. The #6 procedure item allows us to do individual checks at home if only one case is discovered in the class, which is the case right now.
I shudder to even think about it. Yech. Lice.
Seems so medieval. I mean, we don’t sleep on straw and our farm animals are outside, not sharing the bedroom floor.
Makes my head itch!
But what are lice anyway? According to the National Institutes of Health, “Head lice are tiny insects that live on the skin covering the top of your head, called the scalp. Lice can be spread by close contact with other people. Head lice may also be found in eyebrows and eyelashes.”
Yech. Okay. To deal with them here’s what NIH recommends:
* Never share hair brushes, combs, hair pieces, hats, bedding, towels, or clothing with someone who has head lice. Or air space or rooms or even sit at the same table! Well, probably a bit excessive…
* If your child has lice, be sure to check policies at schools, day-care centers and nurseries. Many do not allow infected children to be at school until the lice have been completely treated. Our school has that policy too, thankfully, so while it’s a burden on the parents to suddenly have your child at home for two weeks, it’s good news for the rest of us parents — and our kids!
* Some schools may have policies to make sure the environment is clear of lice. Sometimes, the insects or their eggs get into areas such as carpets. Frequent cleaning of carpets and all other surfaces in child-care centers prevents spread of all types of infections, including head lice. That’s it, I’m ripping out all our carpet and pouring chemicals throughout the house!
Makes me want to shower. A lot. And get disposable brushes!
Hopefully my little 3rd grade angel K- doesn’t have lice. We’ll do The Inspection tonight. (shudder)