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Parenting Triumph: How To Teach Your Children About Head Lice Without Scaring Them

Mother treating daughter’s hair against lice

Head lice are some of the nastier things your children can bring home from school or daycare, but as adults, we know it’s gross but non-life-threatening. Children, on the other hand, don’t always understand that, and can become hysterically afraid if they discover they might have bugs living in their hair. It’s not always easy, but there are some approaches you can take to ensure your child doesn’t get scared of head lice.

General Demeanor

In order to help prevent your child from becoming frightened, the first and foremost thing you must not do is appear frightened or panicked yourself. This can be difficult if you are terrified of bugs or feeling embarrassed that your child has lice (it’s truly nothing to be embarrassed about), but children pick up on what adults are feeling and mirror it, so you must do everything in your power to control yourself and get over your fear in order to help your child and keep him or her from panicking.

If There Is An Outbreak

If you have been informed there is a head lice risk at your child’s school or day care, you must do what you can to educate your child so he or she does not catch them. When teaching your child the best ways to avoid getting head lice themselves, be careful not to sound threatening. Never lie – inform your child what head lice are in the simplest, most non-threatening way possible. Tell them in a straightforward, calm manner exactly what head lice are, that head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene, they aren’t known to carry diseases and that if your child gets them it’s not a big deal.

If Your Child Is Afraid Of Bugs

If your child is already deathly afraid of bugs, talking about head lice will likely be harder for you. Perhaps the best thing to do is to thoroughly explain what they are and how easily they can be treated. Remember to always remain calm and do not get angry at your child for being afraid. Continue to consider head lice a harmless nuisance, and hopefully your child’s fear will subside.

If Your Child Has Head Lice

If your child does have head lice, follow many of the tips above, and seriously consider seeking professional treatment like the services offered at Heartland Healthy Heads. To avoid scaring your child, treat it as a simple trip to the doctor for a checkup, or even as a day out at the salon (since the doctors will be thoroughly coming his or her hair). Treat the condition as if your child simply had pink eye – that it’s a curable condition they just need to get through, and that they get some days off school in the process.

If you treat head lice more as an occasional nuisance rather than a scary threat or a big deal, and calmly educate your child about the condition, he or she will not be as likely to be afraid of them.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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