Today I want to tell you a story about a family. It is a loving, close-knit extended family. They are so close that, to date, 7 members of their family have been treated in my office and at least 2 more have shaved their heads prophylactically (they are male family members; I never advocate head shaving as a treatment unless the person getting shaved is 100% on board with the idea.)
The tale begins with a child, as it usually does with head lice. Child 1 acquired lice during the summer. The mother identified the problem and began to work on treating it at home. Over the next 5 months the infestation continued. This week, Mom finally hit her limit and reached out to us for help. I'm amazed it took that long, and I'm doubly amazed at how calm she was when she arrived.
Upon arrival, we went back over her history. And then I looked at Grandma and said, "We need to check you too." She shot back a look, "I'm fine, I don't have anything, I'm fine." Anyone want to guess what happened next? Right, she wasn't as "fine" as she thought she was. Neither was Mom. Neither was Child 2. Beyond that, the problem extended to a Cousin and an Aunt, and probably another Cousin as well. Somehow, Grandpa got away with it. Lucky guy!
And this is the story of lice. You got it from someone, you gave it to someone. Just the way it goes. How do we keep this from happening? If you don't know, you haven't been listening while the Lice Lady Speaks! Check out the entry "Check Please!" Parents need to be doing regular head checks on all school-aged children once a week, more often during times when there is an outbreak in the social circle or school/camp. The complete details are in the previous posting, so I won't bogged down in them here, but I will reiterate once more that those weekly head checks will save you. "One head, one bed" as a wise woman once said. Find it on the first person in the first week or so and you will only have one head to treat and one bed to strip. If you don't find it early, when you find it, it may be too late to stop it from spreading through your house (or even your extended family). A little investment of time can save you more time and money later.
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