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THOSE Letters.....

This week, we got one of those letters from school. You know, the ones that make you cringe: "A case of head lice has been reported in your child's class....".

Now, I used to try to handle these notes without drawing attention to the the letter, my reaction or what I do next (check every strand on their heads, obviously ;-).... but those days are long gone. Case in point, when I put down the letter and immediately went for a flashlight, Mario picked up the sheet, read the first line, and a look of "Oh crap, I know what this means" washed over his face. He met me under the light in the hall where I spent the next 15 minutes sifting through his curls before declaring "Alright you're good, but if you have any itches you tell me RIGHT away!".

With the exception of spiders, which are so very useful in getting rid of other unwanted critters, and ladybugs, which are just cute, I have a MAJOR problem with anything smaller than a dragonfly. I can't stand wasps, bees, houseflies, horseflies, earwigs, ants, or other creepie-crawlies. They are so small, it is impossible to keep track of them. And you don't know what they are going to do or where they are going to go. As I write, I imagine what if an earwig got in your shoe and you put your foot in? Uggggh. Or if ants got in your rice? Shiver. Or if a wasp stung you in your own home and you couldn't run away!!!!! The horror, horror, horror!

I have never seen head lice. I never want to. They are on the top of the creep-me-out list. The thought that something could be crawling through our hair, getting on clothes.... OMG, how would you get rid of it!!?? The carpets would have to be cleaned, all the bedding and clothes washed, all the stuffies put in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. I would have to move out. Seriously. 

And, it seems as if there is nothing guaranteed - I mean, they tell you they like clean hair! And, sure, we tell the kids not to share their hats or coats, but how many kids actually listen? What about team work in school - I imagine two little heads deep in conversation over the issue in question and oh! a little licey decides to take a leap...

.... do they jump? I don't know.... I just know I am CREEPED out!

How creeped out? Well, the last two nights, I have asked DH to check my hair. He loves those requests let me assure you. I tilted me head in his general direction and said: "Do I have anything in my hair?".... he paused, cast a casual glance in my general direction and replied: "Yes.... greys." 

..... Oh, he's a Doofus, but at least he makes me laugh ;-)

PS: I couldn't write the above and not divulge some of the information I have picked up in my panicked Google searches over the years: Head lice are not a sign of filth, they are just bugs that like to hop from one head of hair to the next, and can do so easily in the school environment. Steps you can take to avoid them include: 1. pinning back long hair, 2. using tea-tree-oil shampoo (they don't like the smell), and 3. using conditioner (I read an article once that suspected one of the reasons adults and teens are less likely to get lice, even if infected children are nearby, is because they tend to use more hair product and conditioner in particular - maybe the conditioner makes the hair too slippery for them to stay...). If you suspect head lice, talk to your pharmacist or even a teacher friend for the best solutions (based on the number of letters I have seen over the years, you won't be the first one) and make sure to inform your school nurse - while this may make you uncomfortable, they do need to alert the other parents in the class to ensure they are checking heads and thereby reducing the chance that the lice will spread. 


  1. Oh sweet lord - we have been in a battle with the crawlies for weeks now. Finding them on your child is bad enough, but finding them in your own hair? Aaaaagh! Horrors. Absolute horrors.

  2. FYI, head lice won't live in carpets, stuffed animals, etc for very long. They can't live 24 hrs max without blood and generally need warmth. Definitely would need to wash the bedding in hot water though.

  3. Anonymous20:44

    I spray hairspray on my child's head every morning before heading out the door to school. It works as a repellent. You haven't got to coat him/her in the stuff, just spraying all the hair lightly should be sufficient. Lice like clean hair, so if you put hairspray on your child's clean head, it becomes a sticky surface, making the lice stay away and moving along to someone else. Tea tree oil shampoo works as well.