Lice is a four-letter word – Stacey Hatton

Special to The Star

September 14, 2015

I need to air my recent grievance to the public. Truly, I try to be the wine-glass-is-half-full type of gal, but I had a bomb dropped on me that brought out the cynic in my Syrah.

There is no way to sugarcoat my woe. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would prefer a root canal than wish this on my worst enemy. At least there are drugs that can help you get through mouth surgery. I’d rather have an endless laundry pile rather than experience this again.

Wait, I take that last one back. That’s partially what’s been causing my panic attacks.

Just rip off the Band-Aid and spit it out…

We had lice. Parasites. An infestation, if you will. The secret L-bomb!

Never before have I so vehemently practiced sterile technique, and I’ve worked in a children’s hospital.

If you’ve never experienced these little bugs from hell, you will. I hate to be the bearer of horrific news, but it’s inevitable. Either your kids or your grandkids will drop off these itchy nuggets while you’re watching reruns of “All in the Family” in your comfy living room recliner — and those suckers will latch onto your hair follicles and (shh!) re-pro-duce.

Oh, yes, I’m sure many of you were like me. “I’m too clean to get lice,” I boasted. “They are for peasants and Third World country dwellers!” Well, I’m here to tell you my clean head and various princess heads in the neighborhood have never itched so badly. This pest war has entered my suburb and I’m ticked!

After much personal research and costly visits to the “experts,” I am a professional louse executioner. I might even start up a lice removal version of those Stella and Dot jewelry or Jamberry home parties.

The reason why I’m jumping on my tea tree oil box is it is about time we stop shaming our kids. I want to break through today’s social barriers and go all “Norma Rae” about kicking the stigma to the curb. I’ll be yelling it from the rooftops, from church steps and various factory union meetings — whatever it takes to get my message out.

Lice is not a four-letter word! (Waits for applause.)

OK, maybe it is, but shouldn’t we be able to discuss infestation outside of school nurse room curtains and dark alleyways? What’s so shameful about having bugs taking residence on your noggin? I agree it’s gross, but shaming others is unjust. If you are brave enough to discuss it with friends, you will find out that about every house in your ZIP code has experienced the insanity that comes with the territory.

Especially now that there are teenaged-mutant lice running rampant in many states. The stories are plastered across all media. These buggers are resistant to over-the-counter drugs. They have built up such resistance to old-school treatment, that everyone’s going to have them. It’s the new fad.

“Did you hear? Becky’s family has lice.”

“No! I’m so jealous! You know that lice is the new black stink bug.”

“Yes, it’s all over Facebook!”

Maybe lice infestation isn’t pleasurable. Unless you have some twisted love affair with washing every fabric item in your house, vacuuming daily for three weeks, or twice a day picking nits out of your loved one’s tresses.

But can’t we give lice a break? Nits happen. Deal with it, stop the blaming and quit laughing at the downtrodden.

And remember, paybacks are an itch.

This article originally appeared in the Kansas City Star.



Stacey Hatton is a New York Times best-selling author, blogger, mother and head slapper. She can be reached at or her blog,

Head Lice Should Be a Topic of Conversation, Not a Secret

Head Lice! These tiny little bugs can cause shame, guilt and embarrassment for many parents. Not to mention the panic and frustration of getting it out of your child’s hair.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States.

Parents in the community can give one another a better chance at beating or preventing head lice by talking about it and spreading the word. Head lice have excellent hiding and reproductive skills, and we add to their skills by being secretive about their presence on our heads. We have to talk about lice in order to work them out of our social circles faster.

Once you share with others about having lice, it is likely others will open up and start sharing how they battled it too. Sharing your struggle, successes and failures with treatment will help others. Let’s build awareness throughout the community, stop blaming and start talking! Having proper information about head lice prevention and treatment helps everyone and controls the spread of head lice.

Suggestions for parents:

Parents of children with head lice: Find a safe and effective treatment.  Talk about it, let everyone know in your social circles that they have been exposed to head lice. Encourage them to get checked and treated. And please, talk to teachers and school nurses, so they can be aware that a lice infestation is present in the school. Most important, tell your kids that anyone can get lice – it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Parents notified about head lice: Don’t be mad, be thankful you have been informed and start checking your kids for lice.  Knowing your child has been exposed to lice leads to both prevention and early treatment. Immediate and thorough comb-outs can mean catching the one and only louse. This is much better than treating the whole family a week later.

Being secretive and shameful about head lice does not help anyone. In fact, it only helps head lice continue to spread.  Heartland Healthy Heads advocates for ending the stigma associated with head lice.  Join our #BeLiceFreeInKC initiative today by calling Heartland Healthy Heads at 913-730-6487 or

head lice shampoo

Is it lice? Do I use head lice shampoo?

Is it lice? Do I use head lice shampoo? An estimated six to 12 million infestations occur in the U.S. annually. It is particularly common among pre-school and elementary school children. Head lice do not transmit any diseases, but they are very contagious and can be very itchy. To determine if your child has been infected with head lice and what to do next, review the details below for more information on eliminating lice.

What Steps To Take If My Child Has Lice:

First, confirm that your child is infected with head lice by:

  • Check behind the ears and at the back of the neck for any signs of lice • Look for a rash, as lice might cause a rash on the back of the neck • Look for nits, as they are dark brown in color, only turning clear and sometimes white when they have already hatched • Nits feel like a tiny hard speed bump on the hair • Don’t panic; lice are treatable; call Heartland Healthy Heads for assistance

Here Are Some Things To Do Right Away: • Check other members of your family for lice • Notify anyone who has had recent contact with the infected person • Notify the school that your child attends • Call Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal for the most thorough Lice treatment available • Heartland Healthy Heads uses the AirAlle TM system and is Certified in the Shepherd Method, both are all-natural method of lice removal that is 100% guaranteed

To Shampoo or Not to Shampoo: • Over-the-counter head lice shampoo and treatments only kill lice. • Lice shampoos don’t kill nits (eggs) • Many shampoos and treatments contain toxic chemical and can enter the blood stream through the scalp/skin • Even if you use a shampoo that kills the lice, you still need to remove the nits • Don’t shampoo with harsh chemicals or pesticides, call Heartland Healthy Heads 24 hour Lice line at 913-730-NITS (6487) for immediate assistance • For additional information on lice removal and preventative care, click here!

We know it can be very stressful to deal with a head lice infestation, but we can help! We are safe, fast, and convenient.

Call Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal for a 100% guaranteed lice removal treatment using the AirAlle TM system and Shepherd Method Combing techinique. We are available 7 days a week for your convenience!

Call: 913-730-NITS (6487) or visit our website at

24 hour Lice Line

Lice Clinics of America

What is Lice Clinics of America? Lice Clinics of America a large network of lice treatment professionals who are dedicated to providing the safest, fastest and most effective treatment for head lice. Heartland Healthy Heads is a preferred provider for Lice Clinics of America and also certified by the Shepherd Institute to identify head lice and nits along with performing thorough nit removal services. As healthcare professionals, we provide the best quality head lice service in the Kansas City area. Lice Clinics of America Preferred Providers must meet very specific criteria to ensure you receive the highest standard of care. Our facilities are always safe and family-friendly. Our clinicians are experts at putting both you and your children at ease, so your lice-treatment experience will be pleasant and reassuring. When seeking a professional lice-treatment service in your area, make sure you look for the Lice Clinics of America Preferred Provider seal. That way you can be assured of receiving a high-quality, guaranteed treatment by operators certified to use the AirAllé heated-air device. When seeking a professional lice-treatment service, make sure you look for the Lice Clinics of America Preferred Provider seal. That way you can be assured of receiving a high-quality, guaranteed treatment by operators certified to use the AirAllé heated-air device. Heartland Healthy Heads provides the highest quality treatment options for head lice and is proud to be a Preferred Provider for Lice Clinics of America. For more information please call our 24 hour Lice Line at 913-730-NITS (6487) or visit our web site

Is It True?


Is it true head lice prefer clean hair? We hear this question a lot at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center. The age old idea that one is dirty or unclean if they have head lice has taken a turn. For many years the misconception one is dirty if they contract head lice has done a complete 180. We hear it almost every day. “I read on the internet lice really only like clean hair.” The fact of the matter is, Head Lice do not care. They just like hair on the human scalp. I suppose if you get a pickier louse they may tend to prefer clean hair. They just like hair, long or short, blonde, brunettes or red heads (or even grey), curly or straight, thick or thin, even dirty or clean. They probably do not even care you use gel, hairspray, mousse or get a permanent. Hair dyes don’t even matter.

Head Lice know where they need to be to survive. They want to get to a human scalp to feed and more than likely will venture onto any hair to survive. Although there are certain scents lice do not like so as a prevention it may be a benefit to use a prevention spray including lice repellant scents like peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass or lavender.

The best prevention by far is to keep hair tied back, use braids, buns and ponytails. Head Lice are transmitted through hair to hair contact and very common among school age children. Here at Heartland Healthy Heads we say check often and treat early, this helps to stop the spread of head lice. Here at Heartland Healthy heads our mission is to decrease the stigma associated with head lice and dispel the common myths. Feel free to call our 24 hour lice line with any head lice related questions 913-730-NITS (6487).


head lice information

Need information about head lice?

Need information about head lice? Not sure what to do. Looking for the safest, fastest and most effective treatment for head lice. Look no further. Here at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center, Head Lice is all we do. The right information can go along way when treating head lice, saving you a lot of time and frustration. Not only do we have the most effective lice treatments, we also know all about lice. All our treatments include education about head lice. We love to teach all about head lice, so every family knows what it looks like, how it is transmitted, how to clean the home and how to lessen the chance of having it again. In support of our community we offer other services, including group rates, camp services, school wide head checks and head lice educational presentations to community groups. We even have a 24 hour lice line 913-730-NITS (6487). Call the head lice experts at Heartland Healthy Heads with any questions about head lice or to schedule a head lice screening or treatment.

How Can I Tell If My Kid Has Lice?

Head Lice! Just the mention of the words will leave you scratching your head and overwhelmed. Just knowing your child may have head lice can be alarming and send parents into a panic. Knowing how to tell if your child has lice can be tricky, especially if you have not ever seen head lice eggs or nits before. One of the biggest problems with head lice is the common myths. Head Lice can happen to anyone, regardless of social class or cleanliness.  It is almost always passed via direct head-to-head contact, not from sharing hats or brushes, or going to the movies or on a plane. Young children are more susceptible, because they don’t have personal space needs like older children and adults do, and their heads are more likely to touch. What are the signs of head lice?  Many people think that itching is the first sign of a head lice infestation, but actually, many people don’t itch for two or more weeks after they have contracted the first.  In fact, by the time your child is itching, they most likely have already had lice for several days or weeks.  Your best bet in identifying head lice in your child is to check their heads often, once a week is ideal.  You are much more likely to find eggs or nits than you are a bug.  Nits are dark brown in color when they are new and viable, and can turn clear or white when they are older and no longer viable.  You should look for small, dark brown bubbles that are firmly attached to the hair shaft, less than half an inch from the scalp.  If you see things that appear to be stuck to the hair shaft, but they are white and they will slide easily under your finger tips, this is NOT lice.  A nit will feel like a hard speed bump under your fingers and will not slide down the hair shaft.  Some children develop a rash at the base of their neck. Heartland Healthy Heads is always here to help. You can always delegate the checking to the experts at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center.  Our professional head checks are incredibly thorough!  If you would like peace of mind give us a call at 913-730-NITS (6487).

School Lice Policy?

Know your school lice policy? When you get the head lice call from school, don’t be angry at your school or school nurse, be an advocate for your family! According to the National Association of School Nurses, children with head lice should not be barred from school, rather they should be “discouraged from close direct head contact with others.” The organization’s position statement, which was reiterated and revised in 2011, concludes: “The school nurse is in a position to take the lead in eliminating school exclusion policies and, instead, incorporate evidence-based practices that reduce the stigma associated with head lice, and work to increase classroom time with an emphasis on keeping students in school.” The American Academy of Pediatrics adopts a similar stance and recommends a prompt and safe treatment of head lice with as little interruption to a child’s daily routine as possible.

When head lice is going around, tell others quickly and talk about the best way to get everyone checked, treated and past head lice. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t get mad when other parents let you know head lice is going around. Yes, head lice can travel from head to head at school, but also moves around from head to head at outside school activities (slumber parties and sports activities or family gatherings).

Here at Heartland Healthy Heads, we hear the story all too often from frustrated parents who have tried numerous products, spent hours combing out nits and hundreds of dollars and tears wasted trying to get rid of head lice, only to blame the school for failed head lice treatments. The fact remains if head lice is not cleared from your social circles or if you do not get an effective treatment head lice will continue to linger around. The best way to stay lice free is to check often, treat early and tell others. Don’t waste time being angry at your school. Just take action: know the facts, get an effective treatment and tell all your close contacts. The stigma associated with head lice is powerful and can only be overcome by knowing the facts about head lice. Heartland Healthy Heads is a full service head lice treatment facility. We provide safe and non-toxic treatment options. In addition, we love to educate the community about head lice. If you need further information about head lice, call the experts at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center at 913-730-6487 or visit our website:



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