What To Do When Child’s Friend Has Lice?
A client, Sandy, called us in a bit of a panic – her main concern was that her daughter’s friend has lice, what should she do? She went on to explain that she had hosted a slumber party for her daughter and 5 of her friends the night before. At breakfast, a couple of the girls were scratching their heads. After checking the girls' heads, she discovers that her daughter’s friend has lice. After such a pleasant evening, she was faced with an uncomfortable situation: How to tell your friend they have lice. She felt responsible for what looked like a debacle. "Her friend has lice. What should I do?" asked Sandy. "I dread calling the other girls' parents to relay that news to them. I feel totally responsible for contributing to what could be a lice infestation in the grade." This is an all too common incident. With head lice as commonplace as they are, and slumber parties a part of our social culture, it is possible that children will find themselves exposed to lice through these parties.
We reassured Sandy that this is not her fault. Regardless of how the girls got the head lice, it is in everyone's best interest for Sandy to alert the other parents that their daughters were exposed to lice. They will all need to be checked and if they have an active infestation they must be properly treated. If those girls continue to be in close contact on social dates or in school, they will continue to pass the lice around. When you call the parents tell them that the best way to check and see if their children have picked up a case of lice is to put them under a bright light – if possible outside in the natural light is best. They should look closely and see if there are any translucent eggs stuck to the hair. It is unlikely that they will see a bug scoot around the hair but it is not impossible. When in doubt, they can call us at LiceDoctors and we will come and check their children. If they do find lice in the head then we suggest that they give us a call. As professionals, we know exactly what to look for in the hair and we know how to get rid of it. Nits camouflage in the hair and head lice often scoot from the light so if you are not trained with a lot of experience, this may be a daunting task. It is often more cost-efficient and time-effective to have a professional take care of lice treatment.
How To Prevent Lice At A Sleepover?
Lice and sleepovers are like oil and water – they do not mix. The best way to prevent head lice at a sleepover is to do your best to ensure that activities where children spend time in close proximity of another person’s head are minimized. If a friend with lice slept over, this will greatly reduce the chances of transmitting the case to someone else, as the most common mode of transportation for head lice is crawling, directly from one head onto another. Here are a few other practical precautions you can take:
- Girls should always wear their hair pulled up in a bun at a slumber party to make the hair less accessible to lice.
- Cover the hair with some kind of lice repellent such as LiceDoctors Mint Lice Repellent spray.
- Have your child bring her own towel and pillow.
- Encourage your child not to sleep with her head next to another child’s head.
- Discourage activities where hair is involved, like beauty shop.
- Educate your child about head lice and how it is transmitted so they can be alert to potential head lice transmission scenarios.
- Before and after the party bring your child into bright light and do a check of the hair to be sure that the child is not carrying nits in the hair.
So what if you find that your friend has lice at a sleepover? Like Sandy, you likely are questioning: my friend has lice what should I do? Don’t sweat it. Try to be as discreet as possible to avoid making the child feel embarrassed. Head lice is incredibly common and is not a sign of poor hygiene. Your friend, or your daughter’s friend just happened to come into contact with another person who has lice. We recommend calling the parents right away so they can get their child and take care of the infestation immediately. If they call LiceDoctors, their child can even return before the end of the party as clients are no longer contagious after being treated with our method that is guaranteed to work.
Head Lice Tips for Parents
In general, it is very important to educate your child about lice. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If your child knows about head lice and how it is transmitted, they will know how to avoid getting lice from a friend and will never have to ask themselves “My friend has lice what should I do?” There are many practical steps they can take every day to avoid getting lice from a friend at a slumber party and even in everyday life. As mentioned before, keep the hair up in a bun or braid as much as possible and covered with some form of lice repellent. They should avoid doing anything where their head may come into contact with another person’s head. Also, check your child’s head regularly. If they happen to somehow get lice, treatment will be easier the earlier the case of lice is discovered. If you find lice, give LiceDoctors a call at 800-224-2537. We will help you today!