I am sorry for the ignorance of others.

Today I spoke with a woman whose family had been dealing with head lice. In fact, they had dealt with it rather effectively and saw no new lice activity for a week. But then this woman found a new bug and 3 eggs in her daughter's hair. Because of this, her children were "kicked out" of the private day care they were attending. And because this woman now has no childcare, she has to stay home with her children. And because she has had to stay home this past week, she got fired from her job. How terribly sad.

And how terribly unnecessary. I understand the sentiment behind having "no-nit policies" in schools, daycare centres, camps, etc. However, one louse does not an epidemic make. Once the woman removed the louse and nits, her child was, for all intents and purposes, head lice free. With nit picking, it is very possible to miss an egg, and when you do, you may find yourself with a new batch of head lice down the road. To deal with this, you keep checking and picking for at least 10 days, watching for new lice activity. This woman did just this. She did all the right things, but she still suffered a consequence that was greater than the head lice itself.

Last week, I visited a family whose child was sent home from school because they mistook psoriosis for head lice. That's a simple mistake, but they sent the young child walking home without contacting the parents first to ensure that someone was there to receive her. Luckily, mom was at home and nothing happened to the child on the way home from school, but in that situation, the outcome could have been far worse than a case of head lice.

We send our children to school and day cares with colds and flus all the time. And these are much more serious health issues. But with head lice comes paranoia and people will sometimes do crazy, stupid, or dangerous things just because head lice gives them "the creeps". They don't understand what head lice are, how you get them, or that you don't need expensive treatments to deal with them.

But if you want to enlighten them, tell them to give me a call.

No comments: