Nothing makes your heart hurt more as a mother than hearing that your child is being treated badly by her classmates. My oldest daughter Mari came home from school a few months ago in tears saying that none of the kids in her class would sit next to her or play with her. Mari is a sweet, kind, and empathic girl who’s never (luckily!) experienced bullying before and I was totally floored as to what could have happened. The kids in her class shared that they were instructed by their parents to stay away from her because she’d had lice. Ugh.
It’s true. She had lice. And it was absolutely awful. Mari has Rapunzel-lenth curly hair and when we discovered the pests after an epic sleepover, the lice removal saga began. To treat it, I spent 3 hours combing lice removal product through her hair which smelled toxic and was terrible to handle. I thought that she’d be lice free but I was sorely mistaken. My next course of action was to send her to a special de-licing center where they spent another 4 hours on her hair. Have you ever had a 6-year-old sit still for 4 hours? The next day, thinking that we were in the clear, I nearly jumped out of my skin when found more bugs scampering around her head. I was at my wit’s end and so I had an in-home specialist come to treat her and lo and behold, her little sister had it as well. After another 2 hours and close to $2,000 in total treatments (yes, really!), the girls were finally lice free. Overall, the time, hair-pulling, boredom and money we spent could have helped fund a much-needed ski vacation this year but instead, it literally went down the drain.
In addition to the hair drama, we also had to essentially quarantine the soft goods in our house. After washing all of the bedding in scalding hot water, every single pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, you name it (!), had to be sealed in giant garbage bags and stored in our basement for 2 weeks to make sure that all of the lice were gone. Fun times!
My family lives by the rule, “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”, so I emailed the class and let them know to check their kids and that Mari was back at school and no longer had lice. We all know kids say everything they hear at home, so dropping her name and telling her classmates to stay away was not cool! 12 million children between the ages of three and 11 get head lice each year in the United States. Head lice, the second most common medical nuisance next to the common cold, affects everyone, regardless of personal hygiene habits, socioeconomic status or ethnicity, but it is easily treated. Let’s get real mamas, it happens all the time and we need to stop shaming kids so they feel bad about themselves. The whole experience left us feeling embarrassed, frustrated and desperate to get life back to normal, but I was also angry that we as parents are setting our kids up to shame other kids!
Just as another school year is upon us, I’m taking matters into my own hands. I just discovered OneCure, a heated-air device that you use when treating your family’s hair for head lice. It uses clinically proven, FDA-cleared technology and the best part is that it’s pesticide-free, toxin-free and will kill lice and their eggs with just one treatment. (Mamas rejoice!) Gone are the hours (and hours!) of combing out lice and their eggs and wasting money on potions that just don’t work. We got the girls together for another sleepover and played “beauty salon” with it! OneCure was really easy to use and the girls loved getting some extra pampering. Start by using the heat from the device and then comb through the solution. Any pests are killed in only one hour. It’s going to be a great school year, I can feel it. Crying tears here.