Do I allow my child to go to the sleepover?
This story is taken from a 45 minute phone conversation I had with a concerned parent today. Here goes:
“Yesterday the dreaded letter came home from the school nurse alerting us there were a “few” cases of head lice in the 6th grade. Yikes!!! My daughter is supposed to go to a sleepover this Saturday night and I know one of the girls that will be there has been battling head lice. Should I let her go? What if one of the lice jumps onto my daughter‘s head?! What if she comes home totally infected?! My daughter will never forgive me if I don’t let her go but I CANNOT deal if she comes home with lice!! I am freaking out right now…can you tell?!!!”
…I have to tell you, this is not an isolated phone call. Head lice seem to bring out irrational fear in otherwise, sane individuals. I do know the anticipated fear of the dreaded louse is much worse than actually dealing with it head on (no pun intended).
First of all, lice cannot jump or fly, and they carry no disease – so there is no risk of infection. They are transmitted via head-to-head contact, making sleepovers a common place for crossover due to prolonged exposure of hair-to-hair contact.
But fear not, you no longer have to worry whether your daughter’s hair provided the bridge a louse needed to crossover to your daughter and make a home on her head while she was peacefully sleeping. Be proactive! When she returns home the following morning, simply run a good metal nit comb (I am not afraid to say that our Nit Picker Pro is by far the best comb out there—trust me, we’ve tested them all) through her wet, conditioned hair and wipe it on a paper towel. What crosses over are lice (nits do not go from head-to-head since they are firmly glued to the hair shaft) and you can easily see them on a paper towel. If nothing comes off the comb, you’ve dodged the bullet. If you want additional security, comb again a day or two later. If you routinely do this following any sleepover, you will always know where you stand with the unwanted critters.
Be proactive and outsmart lice instead of letting lice outsmart you. Stop them early before they create an extended family on your child’s head. And, as always, feel free to call Lice Happens if you need a little reassurance from us. Check out our website for more information at www.licehappens.com.