Originally Posted by grniys
Ugh, I'm fighting the urge to scratch my head reading this thread.
Honestly, after having lice as a kid and being nearly traumatized over it (at my school it was considered the equivalent of leprosy) I wouldn't let my ds play with those kids until I knew they were lice free. Or at least not in my home. And if the parent's seemed really laid back I would call the school and see what the policy is on lice, and report them if need be.
I sound harsh, yes. I just remember the horrible treatments I had to go through. My cousin and I both got lice at around the same time, and as soon as one of us would get rid of it the other would get it (I originally caught it from school). It lasted a while and was awful! My scalp would burn and I'd cry from the treatments. So no, I wouldn't risk my son going through that because other parent's weren't taking it seriously enough. Flame me if you'd like, but lice is NOT a pleasant thing to have.
I never knew about tto working as a preventative measure. I'll look into that some more.
How much of this is down to the way that it was handled? I'm trying really hard not to get this thread shut down, but treating a child with head lice as if they have leprosy is abuse, plain and simple, and I trust that nobody here would do that to their children. There's a lot of talk about it but nobody is actually picking up and running with the point that Orangefoot and I are trying to make.
1) Lice walk, not jump, from head to head. They are parasitic, and their bites itch. Because it can take months to become sensitized to the bites, people frequently have no idea they've got them- that's why checking is so important. In a way, it's something to be proud of- a kid with no friends doesn't have lice, and it's as simple as that. This also means that it is unbelievably difficult to tell where you got an active infestation from if you aren't checking, because the allergic response (itchiness) develops at different times in different people.
2) Lice do not transmit any known disease. They exist solely for the function of sucking our blood. They are not a health hazard in any other sense of the word.
3) Everyone on the planet has a home remedy for head lice.
4) Treatment is not prevention. If you treat your whole family, the little boy next door also has lice and comes to play the next day, then the whole family is going to have lice again
5) Fashion, as much as anything, has led to this. I noticed that my boys had less problems with nits and lice when we went poo-free. Tying girls hair back is a known effective deterrent- so is brylcream on boys. Generally, nobody does either of these things nowadays.
BUT nobody is actually picking up the crucial point here- of asking what damage we are doing to our children's body image and self-confidence of subjecting them to this treatment in the name of lice. What are we doing to our social relationships and interactions with other children? Is it actually justified? A PP talked about comparing lice to leprosy, but that's pretty disproportionate.