Be a friend and tell a friend!
Telling your friends, family and other social network that you have lice is a difficult thing to do. Unfortunately, the stigma of head lice is real. People are surely going to be mad and blame you, probably think you’re dirty (lice myth!), and potentially ostracize you and your loved ones. Right? It’s so much easier to just quietly deal with it to save yourself from humiliation and ridicule.
While it might appear to be easier, you risk the chances of reinfestation, not once, but multiple times if you are forced to enter into the same environment where you got lice in the first place. Continually dealing with a lice infestation is far worse than just telling folks from the get go, and ensuring your environment is lice-free.
Let’s look at the case of Julia (name and details have been altered for this example). Julia is 15 years old, attends high school and participates on her school’s swim team. Julia and her team traveled out of town for a weekend swim meet where they spent two nights together in a hotel. The following Wednesday, Julia was in math class and scratched her head. She was mortified to see a bug drop from her head onto her desk! She quickly flicked the bug away and prayed that nobody noticed. The following day, Julia and her mom were treated for lice at our clinic. She definitely had lice long enough so that she was contagious during her swim team weekend away.
As much as Julia and her mom were embarrassed to notify her team, friends, family and school, they did so. And thankfully they did, as 10 out of 12 other team members were also positive for lice. Over half the cases were caught early before a large infestation ensued. The girls on the team and families, were wonderfully supportive. They even booked appointments with each other so that they could enjoy some time at the lice spa together!
Now let’s look at Jonathan. Jonathan is 8 years old and has about 4 inches of hair. He’d been growing out his hair for a while and absolutely did not want to shave it off. Jonathan likes to hang out with his friends at school and at after school care. When Jonathan came to us for treatment, he had a moderate to severe infestation. He was one of the 50% of people that don’t have an allergic reaction to the louse’s saliva, and thus did not itch. We treated not only Jonathan, but also his mother and father.
Jonathan’s parents felt embarrassed and guilty about having lice, so they chose not to communicate with anyone. A month after clearing the family of head lice, Jonathan was reinfested. Everyone’s frustration level was through the roof. Lice PTSD had set in.
Communication is key to prevention
Once you communicate, you’ll be surprised to find out how many people have either gone through a lice infestation before, or are currently dealing with one. If someone has recently had lice or are currently treating, always ask how have they been treated. If they are treating at home with either over-the-counter products or home remedies, don’t let your lice guard down! See our other blog posts about why these methods might not work:
Wouldn’t you have appreciated a call from your friend giving you an early warning to check your heads for lice? Be a friend and tell a friend. And when you do get that call, thank your friend!
Lice Spies are professionally trained and certified through the Shepherd Institute. We provide safe, non-toxic, natural head lice checks, treatment services, DIY & preventive products at our Edmonds clinic. Located on the corner of Edmonds Way and 236th Street Southwest in Edmonds, WA, appointments can be booked online, anytime of day or night at www.licespies.com.