You have just received the call from your neighbor. Your child has played with her children everyday this week and last. She has been dreading making the phone call to you because she has to tell you that her child now has…..LICE.

You start to feel your palms get sweaty. A hundred thousand thoughts go through your head. You begin to think of all the things you are going to need to do if your own kids get lice. You run to the store and buy out the entire lice aisle because you are not sure what to buy. Everyone you have ever spoken with has told you something different and since you don’t know what to do, you buy it all.

You look in your child’s head, all looks good. You say to yourself, okay I think we escape this round. About a week later, you see your child scratching and you think, uh-oh, could it be? I thought we were clear. You look in their head and low and behold, lice. Again, that feeling of panic. Now however, it is for real. Wait a minute, you feel itchy too. Could it be that you have lice too? The overwhelming feeling has really set in and all of your friends are over-loading you with their own advice and it is all just too much. What is one to do?

Get educated. Be informed. Know the facts. Don’t stress. It is just lice and it happens to everyone. In fact, most other cultures are not as bothered by lice as Americans are, so they often don’t treat it thoroughly, if they even treat it at all. You do not have to let lice get you down and trust me, when I hear from parents “I am going to have a nervous breakdown!”–I just have to tell them to take a deep breath and relax.This too shall pass and you will get through it.

If you take the time to educate yourself on what the signs and symptoms of lice are and invest in a good lice comb,(not the ones purchased from the drugstore)  you are going to be way ahead of the lice battle. Take precautions with your children; don’t share hairbrushes, hats, pillows, and girls should wear their hair up as much as often. If you suspect that someone in the family has lice, schedule a lice check with a professional, just for peace of mind. However, if you own a good quality nit comb, that is the best, most efficient way to perform a lice check yourself. Simply looking at a head with the naked eye is not sufficient; you need to run a comb through the hair to see if anything comes out on the comb.

Even when camp and school are out, don’t get a false sense of security that you are going to be “lice free”. Any time you have groups of people together, there is a breeding ground for lice present. So, when you travel, that means vacation spots, airplanes and hotels.

If you are “proactive” when it comes to lice, you are less likely going to be “reactive”. It just takes some education, patience and a positive frame of mind. Lice don’t mean to be “lousy”- they just need a place to hang out and we humans are just happy to “host” them!

As always, when in doubt, always seek help from a professional. Potomac Lice Lady is available to help you with all of your questions and de-licing needs.

Have a nit-free day!

Lauren Salzberg

Potomac Lice Lady