Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!







My Webrings



Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!





Photobucket


Photobucket





Medical Billing
Medical Billing



Advertising
For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
We've Got Cooties!
Every week I write a parenting column that appears in 12 newspapers across Canada, and in several in the States on a monthly basis. Given our discussion yesterday, I think I'll run one from two years ago rather than this week's, because I like it. So here was our one and only (so far) encounter with lice:

Recently, a friend warned me that one of my daughter’s playmates had lice, so before Katie went to bed that night, I called her over to take a peek at her scalp. As I parted her hair, I was greeted by a bug running for cover.

I did what any normal mother would do. “Keith,” I shrieked, “get over here!”. He ambled over, not too worried, and gazed at the offending creature. “Huh,” he said. “Look at that.” He’s a pediatrician, and pediatricians have no sympathy unless someone is coughing up a lung.

I insisted that he leave right that instant and get some lice killer shampoo. He asked if it could wait until morning. I gave him That Look. Off he went.

We stayed up until midnight as I picked eggs out of my daughter’s hair. We changed everyone’s bedding, even mine, because she likes to crawl into bed and wrestle in the morning. We banished all stuffed animals to garbage bags in the garage for two weeks. We vacuumed the sofa. Basically, I overreacted. But let me reiterate: my kid had something crawling in her hair. I think I was entitled.

The next day, I ran an internet search for information about lice, and found a very comprehensive site put out by Harvard University. But the more I read, the more I felt that these people had far too much education to understand the real world.

First, Harvard went to great pains to declare that having lice is not a big deal. It doesn’t cause any illness or infection, and it’s not nearly as transmissible as a cold or flu virus. They went on to say that kids with lice should be allowed in school, because we let kids in who have colds. And colds, to Harvard, are far worse.

Obviously no one at Harvard has ever done laundry.

But here’s the thing, Harvard. I knew Katie wasn’t going to die, or get a debilitating illness, or be disabled. I was not worried about her health. But I was worried because my kid had bugs in her hair. Bugs. In. Her. Hair. Pardon me if I think that’s a big deal, but I think having insects crawling on one’s scalp is enough to cause most mothers to go into panic mode.

Harvard then went on to explain how lice tend to like clean hair, so there should be no stigma attached to it. Again, I understand. I know that it was not Katie’s fault that she got it.

But it would be my fault, I think, if she failed to get rid of it. While clean kids get it, dirty kids rarely get over it. It’s not easy to fight the little buggers; you have to comb those eggs out, and they’re sticky little things. You have to kill all the little babies. You have to wash your child’s bedding and toys. But some parents don’t do all this. And then a few weeks later the child has a full blown case again.

It’s almost guaranteed that there will be at least one child per classroom who has chronic lice, and I know some parents who make sure their children’s hair is not "clean” at school as a precaution. It’s not that they swear off shampoo; it’s that they pile on the gel and hair spray. Apparently the bugs don’t like goop, so it’s like putting a “No Trespassing” sign on your children’s heads. We’re going to do that from now on, even though Harvard failed to recommend it.

They did, however, try to put a positive spin on the lice thing in general, proving once again that academics are overpaid. “A few lice on the head should not cause alarm; rather, they present an opportunity for parents to spend the needed time with their children in order to find and remove the offending insects.” What a great bonding time!

If any of you would like such an opportunity, we saved a few eggs in a plastic bag to use in a science experiment later. I’d be glad to give them up. Personally, though, I’d
suggest a game of Monopoly or a walk around the block. But then, I don’t have a Ph.D., so you’ll have to make that judgment yourself.

Don't miss any of Sheila's columns! Sign up to get them in your inbox every week here.

Labels: , ,

2 Comments:

At 8:34 AM , Blogger Terry said…

For reasons I've never researched, we (african-americans) don't get lice!! So neither I, my children, nor anyone in our family (or extended families) has ever dealt with this particular form of cooties. Of course, we get our share of bugs and viruses around here like any other family. Most, I believe are also brought home from school.

 

At 1:02 PM , Blogger Sherry said…

We've had two experiences with lice. Both were started when we took in foster children who were already running a hotel for lice on their heads. The first time we were naive and had no idea so our other daughter caught them before we realized anyone had them. These two siblings that came to us from another foster home had had their hair washed many times with the lice shampoo. Their lice were so resilient to the shampoo that they were huge and there was multiple generations of them growing in their heads. That's when I learned about Olive Oil since the shampoo did nothing to them except fertilize them it seemed. After the Olive Oil treatment, we spent two weeks combing out nits every night. Our second experience was a little boy who was so filthy when he came to us that we didn't know he had blonde hair until he had a couple of baths. His lice was so bad that we got permission to shave his head. While we never caught them from the kids ourselves, we still itched and scratched for days afterward... just the thought of it. :)

 
Post a Comment
<< Home
 


About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:


Important Links
Previous Posts


Categories
Popular Archived Posts
Archives
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Credits
Blog Design by Christi Gifford www.ArtDesignsbyChristi.com

Images from www.istockphoto.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails