It is not easy talking about head lice. The head lice stigma causes parents to shudder at the thought of confessing to family and friends that their child has head lice. Some will never tell and some will. Those that tell may be met with thankfulness or really be surprised when the reply is, “I know, we had it at our house a couples weeks ago.” Then anger sets in, why didn’t anyone tell me it was going around????
Having head lice is common and can happen to anyone regardless of cleanliness or socioeconomic status. Head lice is transmitted most by head to head contact and picked up unknowingly while children play and socialize. Parents that do not talk about head lice or blame others for their child’s infestation encourage the unending stigma associated with head lice. Yes, there is a certain ick factor, but really it is only head lice, not the plague.
Tips for talking about head lice:
- Don’t be embarrassed
- Be courteous, kind and understanding.
- Don’t be angry or insulting.
- Understand how head lice are transmitted and know the facts.
- Educate other parents about head lice.
- Educate you children about head lice.
- Don’t point fingers or blame others, teach your kids the same.
- Offer assistance or suggestions to families needing to be checked for head lice.
- Know the safest and most effective treatment options for head lice and tell others.
- Know how to prevent head lice and let everyone know the same.
Talking about head lice is the only way to end the stigma. If we end the stigma, then talking about head lice would not be so difficult. Talking about head lice aids in preventing head lice from spreading among social circles and lessens the chance of head lice spreading to your family or re-infesting your family. Don’t be embarrassed, be lice free!!!!