To think that if your child has headlice, you should warn people?

(36 Posts)


The child we've caught them off is family. OH's 4yo sister. MIL came to stay for a week, and said nothing the whole time. There are no other candidates from which we could have caught them, MIL sports a shaved head and DS hasn't had contact with his usual playmate in a couple of weeks, just her.

A heads (no pun intended) up would have been bloody nice. By the end of the week DS was scratching and I checked his hair, couldn't find anything and put it down to him having got a bit of sand in his hair the day before, now understanding the strange embarrassed look MIL had.

I'm now facing the two-week nit purge on mixed-race hair and my own. Lovely jubbly. angry

WaitMonkey Thu 25-Jul-13 09:17:25

YANBU. How bloody selfish. And how selfish not to treat her dd if she knows she had them. Poor kid. Good look on getting rid of them. Hate the things.

LIZS Thu 25-Jul-13 09:18:02

So you've been to no shopping areas, soft play , play groups etc recently ? Wouldn't you have noticed the 4yo 's discomfort ?

No softplays, nowhere where he could get close to other children, really. We just went to the beach all week and those two played together. I'm not angry that we have them, it's a pain in the arse but we'll get rid of them.

Is it still so taboo that parents don't talk to one another about them?

Poledra Thu 25-Jul-13 09:27:43

Nope, I tell my CM when my kids get them, so she can warn the other parents and, if I see them, I tell the parents of the children's best friends. AND I have usually treated the offending child and conditioned-and-combed any child not showing active infestation just in case. I would not be chuffed in your shoes, especially with mixed-race hair - DDs 1 and 3's curly locks are bad enough angry

quoteunquote Thu 25-Jul-13 09:28:28

I work on the assumption that all other children have head lice, so if the children have had contact with other children they get the nitty gritty comb and conditioner treatment.

that way it is a quick comb through most days.

In twenty plus years of having children I have found that is the only thing that keeps them nit free.

LadyBryan Thu 25-Jul-13 09:31:55

YANBU - of course they should warn you.

I wasn't very impressed when we went to a party last weekend and one of the children had them. Parent said "oh its going around the class so they're all going to gt them". Long hair, flying all over the place

Apart from my daughter isn't IN your child's school let alone class. Selfish.

Sokmonsta Thu 25-Jul-13 09:34:34

Yanbu. My dd came home from school with one egg/louse on the last day of term. I contacted everyone I could to let them know and ask them to pass the info around. One person said thanks, meant to tell you x has them too. Another, family member, thanked me for the heads up. Next time I saw them and their dc it was painfully obvious one dc had lice. A quick look showed they were bloody riddled.

I've gone to painstaking efforts to keep dc free this school year, long hair tied up. Even when they're playing with friends during weekends/holidays, regular combing etc. it makes me cross.

I understand my family member works ft. But I've offered repeatedly to help her out - one of her dc gets them on a very regular basis. Dc just tells me that she gets them from their classmates who don't get treated. I can't tell them they are probably the child grumbles about by the other parents.

Gah! Excuse the rant but trying to comb through a curly-topped, wriggly baby isn't easy and it frustrates me that people don't think of the impact it has on others.

greenhill Thu 25-Jul-13 09:38:27


I tend to visually check my DC's hair when I brush it in the mornings, during long waits at bus stops and when brushed before bed. They've only had lice once, but as we've all got long hair, it's worth checking very regularly.

Xihha Thu 25-Jul-13 09:52:43

YANBU, dd and I both have thick waist length curly hair and there are a couple of children at playschool who are permanently scratching, we use repellent spray and comb our hair through every day and she still manages to get them because her best friends mum won't treat her daughter coz its too expensive!

Iamnotmyself Thu 25-Jul-13 10:00:36

If mine have them I treat immediately and don't let them mix with other children until they have been treated. I don't tell other parents that they have them, but I do make sure I treat them properly, and then again a week later.

A lot of parents just accept that their children have nits, don't warn you, don't treat properly let alone doing it again after a week and what's more they continue to allow them to play with others, untreated, and even have sleepovers etc.

If we all took responsibility for our own children's hair then it might not be so commonplace.

Just really annoyed she didn't say anything. She took her DD's braids out to let her scalp relax for a few days and didn't say a word, her and DS were cuddling up together at night for bedtime stories, no warning. Maybe we could have avoided it if I'd known, maybe not, but I find it really rude to just come and go without any thought for it.

Ugh. DS is at pre-school in September, is it as bad there, or does it all start at school?

And I learnt from a previous thread that the treatment's available on prescription, so surely cost doesn't come into it? I remember being the nitty kid, it wasn't nice, everyone knew sad Kids always know.

Mixed race hair and nit combing is a bloody nightmare.

I remember when dd was 6, there was headlice in the school for an entire year. We would spend hours combing, getting rid them, then 2 days later it was back.
The only time she was nit free was in the holidays.

Do you use olive oil spray or pink moisturizer in your DCs hair OP?
If you do, put more on grin
It makes it harder for the head live to grip on.
Not impossible-just harder.

I found that because Afro hair is so thick and curly, the products are a waste of time. You would need twice the amount so we used olive oil conditioner and a nitty gritty comb. Every day. For a year.

claraschu Thu 25-Jul-13 10:07:11

People don't take the trouble to really get rid of them. Lots of people say that their child "keeps catching" them, whereas really their children are just permanently infested. One or two treatments doesn't kill all of them.

I discovered that last time Tantrums when he caught them off his cousin, it didn't work and had to wash it so much to get the damn stuff out that it broke most of his hair off as well angry

I'm gonna condition and nitty-gritty, it's what worked last time. Ahh joy.

Fourwillies Thu 25-Jul-13 12:12:28

There's so much misinformation out there about nits. Nits only lay one egg a day, so if a child is riddled with them they've been there a good while. Lice cannot fit, they walk. So actually it's much easier for boys with short hair to catch them, by having head to head contact, than girls with long hair as its further for the louse to walk. But once they're in long or very thick hair it's harder to get rid of them.
My son's teacher, with 30 years experience, stopped me and said she thought he had nits. He didn't, it was cradle cap but she said it "looks the same." It bloody doesn't!

Iamnotmyself Thu 25-Jul-13 12:35:56

Well what not many people realise is the life cycle and how long it takes.

The treatments don't normally kill the eggs. So you kill the adults and babies, one week, then the eggs will hatch within 7 days, and you HAVE to treat again with the same stuff ONE WEEK later, to kill all the hatchlings, BEFORE they start laying eggs of their own (which they can do at a week old I think)

So if people just did what it says on the packet, it would be more likely to work.

I do find however that after 15 minutes of Hedrin, they are occasionally still alive - so I leave it on for more like 45 minutes to an hour. Then wash off. It doesn't hurt the person, it's not a toxic substance - it just suffocates the lice.

And it's FAR easier to get off with shampoo than Full marks (which I have to shampoo out about 4 times before it's gone)

I use a spray of 200ml water and 10 drops tea tree oil every day and it's kept my dds clear. I stopped for a month when I'd run out and within a couple of weeks they were crawling again. I'd add the oil to your hair product and see if that helps keep them clear of the little devils. I hate head lice.

Iamnotmyself Thu 25-Jul-13 13:14:13

You could probably clear the infestation properly if you used Hedrin or similar, Broomsticks. Then keep the spray as a deterrent and keep their hair tied up etc.

It is £££ though.

nannynewo Thu 25-Jul-13 20:16:50

YADNBU. Everytime I babysit for a family and the child has had nits the parents will warn me, even if they think they have cleared them all. It is simply common courtesy.

BoozyBear Thu 25-Jul-13 20:20:15

children shouldn't HAVE nits.

As soon as a parent spots them they ought to be treated there and then.

I dont understand this "oh they've got nits" thing. If you know they have them, why the fuck haven't you treated/combed the bastards out?

PowerPants Thu 25-Jul-13 22:48:55

Agree with BoozyBear.

Boozy for Queen.
touch wood my DD hasn't had them for about a year. She used to come home riddled with the bloody things thanks to a parent who wouldn't treat them as it was her DHs job and, if he was out of the country on business, the children were running alive...

Xihha Thu 25-Jul-13 23:17:26

I learnt from a previous thread that the treatment's available on prescription, so surely cost doesn't come into it?

Oooh I didn't know that, sadly I think with the best friends mum the cost is a convenient excuse for being too lazy as I offered to buy her some stuff when I had to treat my dd and she wasn't interested in doing it then.

BoozyBear Thu 25-Jul-13 23:57:13

i didnt spot that my son had them, i will admit. He was in reception and i was talking to the teacher at morning drop off when i saw him scratching... i looked and he was riddled blush

I promptly took him straight back home there and then, bought some fullmarks, treated him, dd and myself, then delivered him back to school before 10.30am completey de-loused. (a feat in itself as he's HFA and loathes having his hair washed!)

There is just NO excuse!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 26-Jul-13 00:02:16

There's so much misinformation out there about nits. Nits only lay one egg a day, so if a child is riddled with them they've been there a good while

Not true, the average adult female louse lays approx 6 eggs per day the eggs hatch after about 7-10 days and reach maturity after about 8 days each adult louse lives for about 32 days.

They can also get about at the rate of about 9 inches per minute and don't object to doing so.

Also a nit is the hatched egg and the egg is laid by a louse.

If you are treating using nothing other than lotion you are not treating correctly even if you do it again a week later,your child will not be clear you just think they are.

The children in the class all know who often has nits. Dd1 caught them once, but in her class there are notes home about 10-15 times a year, not had one for dd2 in her 2 yrs there. The particular child is leaving so will be interesting to see if they remain nit free now.

Your MIL should have warned you and in the week that she was staying you could have helped get rid of them, daily tallys of number of headlice killed, could be quite fun to do together.

Feeling itchy now...

SummerHoliDidi Fri 26-Jul-13 00:16:42

There's a boy in my form at school who seems to be constantly riddled with them. His mum doesn't manage to get rid of them all, and he can't manage it himself.

Dd1 had them for ages once and I didn't notice/she didn't say anything. It took forever to get them out of her hair, and even then I had to cut her waist length thick hair into a bob (myself shock) before I managed to get rid of them all. It was a sad day for both of us.

NoComet Fri 26-Jul-13 00:18:35

They were so endemic at DDs primary school no one ever bothered to mention them and school gave up sending out letters.

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 00:21:33

I doesn't seem to bevwidely known that the are a lot of people who can have lice itching- you have to be sensitive to them to itch- and I think it's 50% of people aren't.

And on average, a child will have had lice for 3 months before it becomes noticeable. So all the "it must have been x child" stories are just not right.

toomanyfionas Fri 26-Jul-13 00:39:19

You are so not being unreasonable. Breathtakingly inconsiderate of her.

I've had this from, surprise surprise the same people who bring their stomach bug kids to play, again feigning ignorance.

Needless to say we steer well clear of them now.

Rooners Fri 26-Jul-13 08:34:58

Oh we comb as well as the lotion. I quite enjoy it except on my hair

And sometimes we do it two weeks later as well if there seem to be any left. Once the comb is clear I stop doing the lotion.

Kreecher I wonder if you know the same people as us...! Are they very cloak and dagger about the 24 hour rule as well?

ReindeerBollocks Fri 26-Jul-13 09:52:35

This thread is making me itch. <scratch scratch>

I always treat and double treat a week later, combing every day in between the two. It is difficult but not impossible to get rid of them.

Our school have set days for checking for nits, but I also do it intermittently to ensure they are nit free.

And yes, when mine have had them in the past I always tell the school and close friends so that they can check their DC too. This is normally after I have found them and have done a first treatment.

pingusmumtoo Fri 26-Jul-13 10:50:01

We took my DSD on holiday two weeks ago (after much pleading with her mum) and had to bring her back half way through holiday as 'sschool would not let her have last three days of term off' - holiday was my mum's big treat for the whole family so there were my parents, brother 1, wife and their 4 (they live in another country) brother 2, wife and their baby and me DP, DS and DSD! Fantastic holiday - marred only by early departure of DSD. We picked up DSD the weekend we got home and only then her mum tells us she had nits - they've been going round school!
Brother 1's family absolutely riddled with them and the three girls plus mum have the longest thickest hair I've ever seen.
Everyone else in family now warned and suitably treated
Deeply suspicious her mum knew before we went on holiday

ThePowerof3 Fri 26-Jul-13 10:51:30

I bloody hate nits, they are so difficult to get rid of. Presuming she came to stay at yours knowing DD had nits then that it outrageous? If she knew then why wasn't she treating them? My DDs have had it once from my very tight curled hair niece but her mum only found out she had them once they'd already been passed on

DumSpiroSpero Fri 26-Jul-13 11:03:22

You haven't mentioned how you found out that your DS definitely caught them from SIL - did MIL tell you?

It's presumably not impossible that he may have picked them up just before she came to stay and they went unnoticed initially?

I only say this as a couple of months ago I had a text from a friend saying something along the lines of 'Don't mean to be unkind but every time our kids play together I find mine has headlice - just thought you should know.' I know because we check regularly that my DD hasn't had them since Christmas (we have thick hair and mine is curly so I keep my eye on it as I know how hellish the bloody things are to get rid of).

I was really upset tbh and although we've not fallen out over it, we've not seen each other since (only due to work/school stuff - kids are at different ones) and I feel it's just going to be a massive elephant in the room when we do.

However if you're sure that's how he got them then of course YANBU. We've been using tea tree shampoo and conditioner since DD's last bout and it seems to have made a big difference.

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