Lice Lesson #1: People can be very nice.

When we think of head lice, we often think of children taunting other children on the playground at school and how cruel people can be.
My first experience with head lice was at a summer camp I worked at. Most camps turn away kids with lice, but the director of this camp understood that such a thing should not stop a child from having a great experience. Every child that had lice started the week by having their heads shampooed and nit picked. All their bedding and clothes were washed and dried before they went back to their cabins. As the children got their heads picked, they watched movies and ate snacks. The leaders were fantastic and the kids had a blast. More importantly, they were so relieved. Some of these kids had suffered with head lice for years. The staff had truly blessed these campers. I now know that the treatments are not needed and usually ineffective, and I also know that combing with a proper metal comb is much more effective, but that's not the point.  What I learned from this experience is that head lice are not the plague and if you deal with it head on (no pun intended) it can be beaten. The kindness I saw at this camp changed me. Everyone on camp knew that these children had started the week with lice, but the other campers were accepting of these bunk mates. Once children (and parents) understand head lice, they are usually very understanding themselves.

What Can You Do: Ensure that your child's school has the most up-to-date information about head lice treatment and that this information is shared regularly.  Show sympathy and offer assistance to other families that you meet who are dealing with head lice.

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