Peace dead at the scratch of a head
Kids and lice – it’s when a long, tiring battle begins
IS IT finally time to talk about head lice?
If you’re not already madly scratching your scalp at the mere mention, you’re probably also one of those people immune to contagious yawning and should consider the possibility that you are a robot.
Follicular pestilence is the scourge of the primaryschool set.
For anyone mercifully unfamiliar with this field of study, let me elaborate: it ranges from nits (tiny, ultrasticky eggs concreted on to the hair) to nymphs (newborn insects virtually undetectable by science) to fullgrown lice (small, scuttling surfboards of horror).
And before you get all judgy, know that they’re everywhere and the louse doesn’t discriminate. Boy or girl; rich or poor; dirty hair, clean hair; Labor or Liberal; Simon or Garfunkel – once these mites have infiltrated a school they’re not picky.
There’s a few ways to sud- denly find lice have sprung on to your offspring.
The dreaded note comes home, informing families that there has been an outbreak at school.
But as you confidently check your child’s skull you discover a carnival of creepy-crawlies has taken up residence – some time ago, judging by the alarming size – and pray that your kid’s noggin didn’t spark the all-points bulletin.
Otherwise, head lice are always detected a) at the hairdresser, b) at a sleepover, c) as you walk out the front door off on holiday; and d) by your mother-in-law.
Next it’s on to the excruciating-for-everybody process of annihilating the invaders.
We have run the gamut of treatments over the years, from a soothing, all-natural mixture of ti-tree oil and mother’s tears, to conditioner and baking soda, to industrial-strength chemicals to all-out firebombing.
Then there’s the combing, the endless combing out of critters and eggs while your grumbling children are placated with very lengthy, age-inappropriate movies.
Whatever method you choose, it’s highly possible that the infestation will eventually migrate to the adult head – leading to that special time when, like primates, you and your partner must rummage through each other’s hair.
Who said romance is dead?