CBC Radio Interviews – Lice, Kids and School

We as parents wait with bated breath for the dreaded letter.

It usually starts out something like this:

A case of pediculosis has been identified in your child’s class…” yada, yada, yada. You get the point. Someone in your kid’s class has LICE! You are freaking out, especially if you are a first-time parent and never have had to deal with this scourge.

As a mother of four, I have had the dreaded letter sent home one too many times, and have dealt with it – and more. Let’s just say that it’s no fun and yes – it’s a hassle to say the least.

Lice – those pesky little critters that get into hair and so much more – have become the scourge of parenting in the 21st century. Not sure what happened but there’s been a proliferation of the dreaded creatures and our kids – and oftentimes their unwitting families –  are the victims.

But who’s to blame?

  • Is it the parents of the children who are bringing these horrible little bugs to school?
  • Is it the kids themselves who, through their actions (innocent or not) perpetuate the proliferation of these dreaded creatures?
  • Is it the school board for not having a more comprehensive educational program to teach both parents and kids how to avoid the scourge of lice?

The reality is that it’s a combination of all of these factors, but I strongly lean towards the third as a key component that is not being addressed as much as it should be. There needs to be a concentrated effort on the part of educators at the school level about how to deal with lice as, let’s face it – it’s at school that kids usually pick up these pesky creatures and bring them home to their families.

CBC Radio Metro Morning

I was recently back on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning to discuss this timely and touchy topic.

Here is a link to the full interview:

Metro Morning – Head Lice and Schools

As a result of the interview, I was asked by CBC Radio’s sister program Ontario Morning to discuss the topic, which I can share with you – scroll down for a link to the clip below.

Some other points that were addressed during both interviews was the rise of “Lice Squads” – enterprising entrepreneurs who – for a fee (often more than $200), will come to your home and delouse your child of the dreaded pests. In many cases, “Lice Parties” are taking away the stigma – and the pests – by normalizing the infestation and by making the delousing actually fun – parents are having wine and cheese in many instances while their kids are getting nits and eggs removed from their heads. I guess this is an example of life giving you lemons and you deciding to make lemonade…or sangria, as it were…

Anyway, all be well and good for those who have the money (the cost is per child, so if you have two or three kids, you can do the math and figure out that delousing the family could get pretty pricey), but what about those who are struggling financially and can’t come up with what would be considered a very expensive way of getting rid of a difficult problem? The issue of inequality of opportunity arises – in other words, if you don’t have the cash, you may have a much more difficult time dealing with ridding your family of these horrible critters. And we haven’t even touched upon the question of stigma – because we all know that those kids who have had persistent bouts of lice and have had difficulty getting rid of them are stigmatized, at least to some degree.

Finally, let’s not forget what all of us parents who have been in the trenches of parenthood for years have known – the “lice letter” that comes in the fall is often one of many that occurs throughout the school year. Again – do the math and these pesky critters can cost a family a lot more than inconvenience.

So what’s the solution?

Ontario Morning

You can listen to my interview with Ontario Morning here (link to iTunes Ontario Morning feed) – The episode is from September 30th 2014 – skip to 40:25 for my segment (it’s at the end of the program):

Ontario Morning Interview – Lice, Kids and School

Of course there are many natural ways of removing lice which don’t cost an astronomical amount and don’t employ the usage of very caustic and often toxic chemicals. Who wants to put that on a child’s head? Some advice and tips on details about natural lice removal can be found in the links below:

How to Kill Lice Naturally

Natural Lice Treatment

Home Remedies For Lice

So what are your thoughts? How do we deal with this yearly, pesky problem that occurs in our schools and spreads to our homes? Who’s responsible and how do we rid ourselves of these horrible critters? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com

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