Aaah, the fun of sleepovers: happy kids telling stories, being creative, giggly and loud, and probably not sleeping much from the excitement of being together. A special time for parents too, glad to see everyone so cheerful!
Sleepovers also mean sharing snacks, a meal or two, stories and laughs, and sometimes even the dreaded unexpected intruder…head lice, that unwelcome, icky communicable disease.
So often us parents are able to trace our child’s lice contamination to a sleepover, which in hindsight, we wish we had not agreed to. The infestation usually occurs because one or more of the kids was thought to have been treated or was considered lice-free by his/her parents, but was actually not. This is very common, unfortunately.
Most of us realize that nits are difficult to identify, and lice are hard to find, since they scurry away from light while we inspect the hair during spot checks. We have all been inefficient at finding every single one, as this is such a tedious task. So let’s keep this in mind before we blame a parent or a child who passed their lice to our kids. They probably tried really hard, but did not succeed.
With most lice infestations fingers are pointed with the seeming obligatory search for who knew first and did not tell (or did not treat appropriately) and sometimes friendship break-up. All this occupies us for hours, through texts and conversations, but it really does very little to resolve the issue. Our time is valuable, so let’s use it efficiently to eliminate the infestation.
Remembering to stay calm after discovering head lice on your child is important. No one means to have his or her child contaminate one of their friends; most likely no one intends to give others the hassle of clearing an infestation. Most importantly, keep in mind that people do not die from head lice, so there is truly no need to panic. What you need more than anything once you have discovered lice on one of your loved ones, is information about the right way to handle the issue.
If you are friends with the parents of the kids at the sleepover, and the kids are close, realize that friendships are important and you should stick together. Frustrating times like these can test your patience, but be thankful for your kids’ friends, and all the good times they share as much as you can. Most importantly remain positive, and take the time to learn what the best course of action is. Don’t focus on the emotional side of who did what. Focus on what needs to be done. Head lice are annoying, but they are not worth losing a good friend over it.
More information on how to handle a head lice infestation can be found at www.osmotherapeutics.com