Why Lice Are Really Harmful

Throwback Thursday because another school year is here…

Just the mere mention of the word lice made your head itch didn’t it? Yeah, me too. Gross for sure. Harmful? Experts say no. However, I know if you’re a mom and you have ever had an infestation, you most definitely disagree. I know I do.

We had an outbreak in my house a while back and here are 9 reasons why lice really ARE harmful, contrary to what the experts say about them being harmless.

1. Your Kid Wants to Kill You

The constant checking, picking, combing, shampooing, treating, heating, whatever wizardry you’re conjuring up to rid of the pesky little buggers, it will drive your child to the brink of insanity (as well as you…see #2). It is a long process. And I mean long. Day after day after day after day until your child is nit free. Picking, combing, picking, combing, over and over again, at which point your child is screaming at you over and over again, “Stop it!” “Ouch!” “You’re pulling out all my hair!” “Are you done yet?” “Again??!!”. Doesn’t stop. Same phrases on repeat mode. Tears streaming down (let’s be clear, my tears, not my child’s!) as I scrutinized section after section of hair.

2. You Want to Kill Your Kid

Picking, combing, picking, combing is no picnic for you either. Somehow your child feels she/he is the only suffering through this process. Not. Even. Close. The waterworks mentioned in #1 above are accompanied by any and all profanity (pretty sure my child learned a whole new repertoire of words) as you pick, comb, shampoo, treat, heat, and repeat. Arms cramp, neck stiffens, eyes bug (no pun intended!) out. “Sit still!” “Stop squirming!” “I said we’re almost done!” “I’ll be done when you stop wiggling!!”. Doesn’t stop. Same expletives on repeat mode. Annoying, frustrating, maddening.

3. Worry

The worrying alone will kill you. You worry it will spread. You worry your other child(ren) will get them. You worry you will get them. You worry no one will go near your child (see #9 below). You worry your child will be ridiculed. You worry you won’t be able to rid of them. You worry. Period.

4. It’s Expensive

Treating lice was harmful to my bank account. Holy smokes. One kit is over $50. One kit. And don’t be fooled people, one treatment does NOT always work. Oh no, you have to buy something stronger and you guessed it, more expensive. And, if you just cannot take one more minute of it all, there are places that remove the pests professionally. For a few hundred bucks of course, you too, can be bug free.

5. You Revert to Primitive Behavior

You know how monkeys pick their offspring’s fur looking for dry skin, clumps of dirt and insects? Well guess what? So do you. You pick your offspring’s hair looking for the tiny little louse or nit. Strand by strand, piece by piece, section by section. We become monkey moms. Pick, pick, pick.

6. It’s Meltdown City

Major meltdowns ensue not just because of #1 mentioned above, but also due to the fact you have to wash and dry your child’s favorite stuffed animal and/or blankie. You know, the one that’s become an appendage? The one your child can’t part with for even 15 minutes? The one that creates panic mode if can’t be found? Yeah, that one. And let’s not forget about the mommy meltdowns. We have to wash (or put in dryer on very high heat) EVERY COTTON PICKING ANIMAL, PILLOW, BLANKET within a 10 mile radius. And you must vacuum up every fiber of every couch, car seat, chair, anything with fabric on it (refer to #7). Yep. Meltdown city, baby.

7. No School

Gotta go to work? Good luck with that because your child CANNOT go to school when she/he has lice. That’s right. They are homebound. Good luck finding someone willing to watch the infected child. Remember the phantom itch? Well, no one wants the real one. Some schools do have a no nit policy (which means child has to be completely clear before returning) while others allow nits. Check with your school/daycare. I PROMISE, you will get a phone call if your child is not in compliance with school policy because the first thing they do when your child returns to school? Check the hair.

8. The Cleaning is Painful

Wash, dry, vacuum, fumigate, repeat. This will be your life for at least two weeks or until you no longer have the little critters creeping around (the bugs, not your child!). I was up past midnight many nights following this routine because remember, the first treatment does not always eradicate them so you are privileged enough to repeat this procedure.

9. It’s Like Having the Plague

Okay, so not really. But seriously, the stigma associated with lice, wow! No one will go near you. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it. The thought alone is gross and creepy. Having them? Way worse. I freaked out when I saw the first one (ewwww, I shudder at the very thought). They are disgusting. However, they are found in CLEAN hair. Contrary to what it sounds like, they do not like dirty. And trust me, I do not want to EVER go through it again so I completely understand why people stay clear. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

After my exasperating experience with lice I feel I have become somewhat of an expert on the subject. I can tell you how they spread, how they survive, how to treat them, how to prevent them, basically any and every thing you need to know. So if you find yourself in the same predicament, feel free to hit me up, the lice whisperer, to help you with your “lousy” situation.

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