The Awful School Note (and why I cussed while at pre-school today)

I picked Colin up from his school today and then we went to get Noah and Zoe. They get out a 2pm, but I usually get there a few minutes early to gather their bookbags, lunchboxes, art projects, etc.

I went to Noah’s room first, and cussed in my head that his hat, gloves, coat, and boots are covered in sand and mud AGAIN. This child used to HATE getting dirty. As a baby, he would hold his hands out to the side as we fed him so he wouldn’t get anything on them. His teacher when he was 2-years-old was concerned he might have sensory issues because he never wanted to do any of the messy projects. Now he has decided that it is really cool to dig for treasures on the playground with his buddies and to make mud pies, and I am washing his hat, gloves, and coat EVERY DAY.

Then I noticed there was an envelope pinned above his hook. I opened it and read The Awful School Note – the one that all parents dread:

Dear Parents:

We have had a reported case of head lice in the MTW 4s classroom. These insects are attracted to clean hair. We are sending this notice to the families who have a child in this classroom. We did a quick head check of your child today. Please continue to check your child’s scalp.

The following information is provided on the subject…

I cussed quietly as shoved all his muddy stuff in his bag.

I walked down the hall to Zoe’s classroom. Pinned above her hook was an envelope with this note:

Dear Parents:

We have had a reported case of head lice in the MTW 3s classroom. These insects are attracted to clean hair. We are sending this notice to the families who have a child in this classroom. We did a quick head check of your child today. Please continue to check your child’s scalp.

The following information is provided on the subject…

I may or may not have cussed out loud. At pre-school.

It turns out that one kid in Zoe’s class has it and FOUR kids in Noah’s class have it. Freaking awesome. So far neither of them have it, and I really hope to keep it that way. I heard somewhere that lice are attracted to light-colored hair, and this mom of brown- and black-haired children is really hoping that is not just a myth.

When we got home, I made them strip down. Christian’s office is only a mile from our house, so I called him to come help me bathe the kids and strip their beds. I am now in the process of washing their sheets, mattress pads, stuffed animals, clothes, bath towels, coats, hats, gloves, etc on the sani-wash cycle.

I have already done two loads, and this is only a portion of what I still have left:

Sweet. It’s going to be a fun night.

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16 thoughts on “The Awful School Note (and why I cussed while at pre-school today)

  1. I worked with kids for 15 years and Lice became something normal that we just dealt with. Keep Zoe’s hair in braids or ponytails. Most girls catch it by having loose hair that brushes against an infected child when they lean over or sit too close together. Use some hair spray on both of them. Lice don’t like the smell. This might be overkill if they haven’t been diagnosed with it, but if you can’t wash certain pillows or stuffed animals or pillows because they are too large, put them in a trash bag and tie it tight. Keep it in the garage for 2 weeks. If they don’t have a warm body to live in they will suffocate and die. If you really want to be proactive you can treat their heads with “Rid” but it smells kind of toxic to me (I’m sure it’s perfectly safe) and I wouldn’t do it unless I knew for sure they had contracted them. Good luck!

    • My little princess won’t keep her hair in a braid, barrette, or ponytail for the length of a school day. Her hair used to be all one length and I used to pin it back with a barrette. She never came home with it. The treachers would give me a bunch of them every couple of weeks, after they found them in various places in the classroom. That’s why we had to give her bangs. Her hair was ALWAYS in her face.

      The hairspray is a good idea. I’ll have to see if I even own any though!

  2. Ugghhhhh. Sorry what a big PITA.

    add some coconut oil or eucalyptus oil to their conditioner. Lice hate the smell of it and will stay away.
    Good luck!

  3. Oh, CRAP.

    I think the thing about hair color is a myth. Lice don’t care. It went through our children’s church and Bri was the only one who wound up with it, but we still had to treat the whole family, according to our Dr.

    I’d call your doc before using Rid. Ours doesn’t like using anything toxic and when we went through this about 3 yrs ago, she said we (the whole family- all 8 of us, at that time) had to cover our heads with Mayo and plastic shower caps for at least three hours, then go through and manually remove any eggs with a lice comb. Only one kid (Bri) actually had any eggs, so that part wasn’t too bad. I treated her twice, to make sure. No one else got it.

    Washing everything will not help if there’s even one egg on one of the kids’ heads. You’ll just have to treat them all anyway and rewash everything, so I’d say to treat their heads first, then wash.

    It sucks. I cannot express how much it sucks.

  4. I would have cussed as well, in preschool, without even thinking about it, because that really sucks! Is Strawberry Shortcake going to need a treatment as well? 🙂

    • So funny that you mentioned Strawberry Shortcake. I forgot that part of the story. There was a bit of drama because Strawberry Shortcake needed to go in the washing machine and would not be available for Zoe’s nap. She said, “No! I don’t want to wash her! I don’t want her to smell like laundry!”

  5. My kids school had a bad case this year too. One of the classrooms had lice for 2 months straight. And once that was done a bunch of kids came down with whooping cough. I was seriously going to pull them out of school.

    What I did was not wash the kids hair for about a week, gelled them up & put hairspray on, everyday. It was gross but it got them through the really bad week when nearly 1/3 of E’s classes had lice. They’re older so I scared the crap out of them with what lice cleanup would look like & they were pretty good about keeping their hats & sweatshirts in their backpacks.

    A friend of mine had a foster daughter that had probably had lice for years. When she came to live with them it took 5 weeks to rid her of the lice & no one else got it. So there is hope 😉

  6. Sorry Tracey, but they love dark hair just as much as light hair. We fought this scurge until I started using this stuff:

    http://www.fairytaleshaircare.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=13&Itemid=61&vmcchk=1&Itemid=61

    Okay, remember one thing (because if four kids in a class have it, odds are not in your favor) – they cannot hurt you, and they cannot hurt your kids. They do not carry horrifying diseases. They are just really, really, really upsetting.

  7. Don’t panic. The year R was in K (and again in 1st, I think) there were like multiple lice outbreaks, but she never got it. I didn’t clean extra at home. I did check her hair every day and tried to keep it in a pony tail and/or braid and I think that helped. Also the schools often have the kids keep their backpacks/jackets in a closed plastic bag at school so the bugs can’t jump that way. I’m probably jinxing myself, but so far we’ve NEVER gotten lice, despite multiple breakouts over the years at school. There’s every chance you will have the same good luck! 🙂

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