The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 • 4:50pm
Upon hearing that a child's friend has lice, parents' reactions can vary greatly. Some parents will race to the pharmacy, buy a pesticide product and treat their children regardless of whether they are confirmed to have head lice or not (I strenuously object to this practice for many reasons!). Some parents will do a visual head check, assume that their child doesn't have lice and move on, possibly missing something in the process. Still others will bring their child to a professional or take the time to do a thorough combing head check at home and truly know that their child is lice-free or will discover that they have a situation that requires action.
The bottom line about head lice infestation is that if your child has lice, they got it from someone and they have likely given it to someone. If you are dealing with a lice situation, your best defense against re-infestation (outside of proper treatment) is to inform everyone with whom your child may have had close contact. If, in fact, they have spread it to another child and that child goes untreated, your child will be re-exposed the next time they have close contact. In short, informing people isn't just an act of altruism and civic responsibility, it's a matter of self-preservation.
We recently treated a circle of friends amongst whom head lice has been recurring in at least one child. Once the mom made serious phone calls to other parents urging them to get their children checked, we unearthed other affected children. Had that mom not pursued the other parents as vehemently as she did, it is highly likely her child would have been re-infested by contact with any one of those other people and the cycle would have continued.
What we see when parents take the problem seriously and get their kids checked, is that social circles overlap each other in ways that people don't even realize. Whether it be dance classes, religious school, camp or sports, these kids move through wide circles and can be exposed through any one of them. The next time you get a call from a friend or a note from school, remember that, depending on where you find your facts, at any given time, between 1-3% of school aged kids have lice. Do regular head checks at home and you won't have to wait for the phone call, you will always know what's going on ON your kids' heads even if you can't always figure out what's going on IN them!
Lisa Rafal is a Head Lice Treatment Professional whose passion for lice treatment began when her family first encountered the problem back in 2008. In 2011, Lisa opened the first franchise location of Lice Lifters® in Clark, NJ and opened her second office in Fairfield, NJ in January 2012. Her personal missions are to educate people about head lice, how to treat the problem and most of all to keep toxic pesticides off the heads of children everywhere! Visit www.liceliftersnj.com for more information
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