I Fought the Lice and, I Won



Yes, when reading above title you should be singing to the tune of the Clash song “I Fought the Law and the Law Won.” Back to the matter at hand: lice. We have lived through a lice invasion in our home and I’m here to tell you, it’s not fun. I’ve run articles on dealing with lice and I’ve listened to parents talk about dealing with lice, but in the back of my head I’m always thinking, “well, that will never happen to us, so no need to pay full attention.” And then, wham-o, my younger brings home lice.

It started with a day off school in October. Ally and her friend spent the day playing while I worked. After friend left, Ally complained of itchy head. Something in me clicks and I realize she’s not just scratching her head, but really, really scratching her head. So I panic. Grab a flashlight and look through her scalp, but I don’t really know what to look for. So I Google photos of lice (don’t do it-they are NASTY). Doesn’t help. So I text friend who has dealt with lice. Listen to what she suggests, go out and buy reinforcements and beginning a full on lice check with the lice combs on Ally’s wet hair. Still not sure what I am looking for. I keep pulling out brown specks from her hair, but I can’t indentify them (and I am looking at them through a magnifying glass). I am frustrated, Ally is crying and this is going nowhere, but I continue. About halfway through, one of the brown spots starts crawling. Official confirmation of what I have been dreading. So I finish the treatment (which, by the way, takes about 2 hours). I treat Tori. Then I strip all beds and wash everything on hot. Remake beds. Treat Ally again. Bag up every pillow and sofa cushion I can get my hands on because this is NOT coming back to my house.

I could bore you with all of the details, but I won’t. Let’s just say it was a rough two weeks (and, of course, Ally’s birthday party was at our home during this time. I alerted all parents as to what was going on and left it up to them on whether or not to attend). So, after three weeks, I finally unwrap all pillows, stuffed animals, cushions, etc. and guess what…it comes back one week later!!!!!!!!! I was MAD. After reading TONS about it and having countless talks with our school nurse, the best we can figure is that one of Ally’s close friends has it and isn’t being treated for it. The nurse said many parents don’t even tell her if their child has lice because of the stigma associated with it. So parents, let’s all band together and vow to take this on. I know you can send your child to school with lice, but please don’t. Keep them home until you don’t see any on them. And, please tell any and everyone that your child has played with that your child has lice. Those two things, combined, can help tremendously! For the time being, Ally will continue to wear her hair up, hang her coat on the back of her chair and I’ve imposed a “no hugging” rule. Here’s hoping that we are done with those nasty buggers in the Sarver home!

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Margaret Sarver

Joys & Challenges of Raising Children in Kansas City

About This Blog

photo of Margaret Sarver Editor of KC Parent Magazine and KC Baby Magazine, Margaret Sarver, enjoys the joys and challenges of raising two daughters. A former elementary school teacher, she currently spends her days volunteering at her girls’ school, leading Daisy Scout meetings and trying to keep her girls from growing up so quickly. In addition to being a busy mom and wife, Margaret enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, traveling, attending concerts and date nights with her husband, Ty.

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