Internets, I need to ask you a question. Would you let your child play with another child- outside- when that other child had head lice as recently as this morning?
Actually, there’s a little more to the story… Yesterday after school, our two little neighbor girls (roughly the same age as my twins) came over after school for a couple of hours. They do this occasionally on Tuesdays, because they have a lapse in childcare on this particular weekday.
It was rainy and gloomy yesterday, so the girls played inside the entire time. And they played dress-up. As in, putting on dresses and such that are now hanging in my daughters’ room. And they laid on the couch and watched tv. Like, with their heads on my couch arms.
This morning, the mom found head lice on one of the girls. She kept her home from school. She didn’t call me to let me know, even though those kids had been here for a little over 2 hours yesterday.
After school today- a beautiful, sunny, 50-some degree day- the girls were knocking on our door minutes after school let out. BOTH girls. I’d heard that one of them was home sick today, so I asked her if she was feeling better and she said “Oh, yeah. I wasn’t sick… I just had head lice! I used the shampoo, so I’m fine now.”
So now I’m sitting here- kinda pissed if I’m being honest. I sent the girls home. I got out a comb and checked over my girls’ heads… no sign of lice.
I am terrified of head lice. I’ve never had it, and I rilly rilly don’t want my kids to get it. All that washing of bedding, freezing of stuffed animals, shampooing and combing and itching of heads… all of it sounds miserable. It sounds like exactly how I DON’T want to spend these beautiful spring days.
I don’t want to sound all prissy, as in “my precious children can’t play with you because you have lice“… In actuality, my being a stickler on this issue is incongruent with the rest of my personality. I’m not a germ-a-phobe, like, AT ALL. In fact, if that child HAD been sick (mild fever or whatever) but was now better, I wouldn’t have any issue of her playing here.
(As long as she hasn’t been puking.) (Or had head lice!)
I guess I just figure that germs are everywhere, and if my kids were going to get exposed, they’re going to get exposed. Colds, fevers, runny noses, coughing, sore throats… I can handle it. Puking? Keep you kid home, please.
And if they have BUGS? On their HEADS? I kinda don’t want them coming over here to play either. And a phone call would also have been nice.
I kinda really REALLY don’t want it. Loads upon loads of laundry? Night after night of bathing and combing? Sitting on the edge of my seat, just waiting to find out we’ve re-infected ourselves? Thanks, but NO THANKS.
(And now I’m scratching my head.)
If any of you have experience head lice I have a couple of questions:
1. Should I do anything to prevent getting it? The dresses they were wearing weren’t washable, and… how do I wash my couch?
2. How long after a delousing should a child be kept away from other children? If she had lice this morning, is she now safely free of them?
3. How do I KNOW if my kids have it? I’ve never even seen them, and frankly googling it is about the LAST thing I want to do right now. And how long after exposure do they get it?
Also? They should have not allowed her to come over to my house this afternoon. Right?