Max has lice. Show of hands…who just got the creepy crawlies up their neck. Yeah. There are bug living in my 5-year old’s hair…and laying eggs. When you put it like that, it’s friggin disgusting. However, according to the CDC “an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.” That means, and this is my own stupid math, about 25% of kids under the age of 10 will get lice…or 1 in 4 kids if you prefer to think of it that way. Max has come home from school before with that note telling parents that someone at school has lice and we should take precautions. Well…today, that’s my kid. Your kid gets the note because my kid has the bugs!
Instead of going to work, my wife and I got to get that weird lice shampoo and a lice comb from the pharmacy and got to work preening him. I made the executive decision we were buzzing Max’s head. He had been intentionally growing it out and it looked cool…but it smelled since he hates to wash his hair and we battle him on it every night at bath time or when I make him shower with me. He said he didn’t want to do it and so I backed off. Its his hair. His hair with tiny bugs crawling along his scalp and laying eggs. Gah!!! Creepy crawlies for me. Lice has nothing to do with being dirty, having unclean hair, or coming from an unclean home so I actually congratulated him for having such clean hair that the lice wanted to make it their home. Then I asked him if he wanted them to stay for a while, get itchier, and not be able to go to activities -OR- buzz his head and make them move out much faster. He thought about this long and hard. He was leaning towards the buzz cut but he hates clippers.
“You’ll look like Isaac.” Said Kate, referring to one of his best friends.
“Buzz it!” Max said, and I did.
Now he looks older than he did before and considerably more Midwestern. This is Kansas, where the buzz cut still roams freely among the prairie unaffected by the styles & trends of major cities. Seriously Kansas, I’ve lived here 7 years and I’m getting fed up with the buzz cuts and brown shoes. Spice it up a bit!
Kate volunteered to stay home with the boys so I could go to work. I went about my morning and dammit if I couldn’t stop scratching my head and checking the mirror. Ghost lice. Are you itching right now? Imagining those tiny dirt-like bugs crawling along your scalp? Laying those white eggs that stick to your hair? Itching. Scratching. But most of all…the feeling that something is MOVING along your scalp!!! Yeah, you’ re welcome.
All hair from the buzz cut was contained and is getting tossed. All sheets, stuffed animals, clothes, etc. are getting washed in hot water. Everything is getting vacuumed. Dodge (my 2-year old) is getting the lice shampoo as well. So is Kate. So am I. My mom, dad and I survived my sister having lice for weeks when I was little…Kate, dodge and I will survive this as well. Lice only live for 1-2 days after falling off a person’s head…so we can kick this thing over the weekend or so! The list of things to avoid are:
- Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities
- Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes.
- Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
- Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
- Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
- Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
- Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
What has me worried is Max took a nap in my bed the other day. Getting the creepy crawlies again. Pleeeeeeease let this be confined to my son. First sign of itching I’m shaving my head…like, bald shaving. Its just hair…it’ll grow back. I’m buzzing Dodge tonight too I think. Kate does not want a buzz. I have brown shoes…at last I’ll finally fit in out here in the Midwest…
…and it’s all thanks to lice!
Dealing with lice in your home? Here are some helpful links:
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