28 September 2005

Kids Get STDs, too!

STDs, the dreaded curse of promiscuity. You play, you run the risk of catching them. Kids are no different. They "ping-pong" (a favorite term of medical professionals) their STDs around. Most of which aren't life threatening, just irritating.

My kids keep ping-ponging a particular STD around — picked up from one of their friends, handed off to another, treated by us, then picked up all over again. What could this dreaded STD be? Lice.

How is lice an STD? Well, I'm not referring to crabs; I'm stretching the acronym to its limit: Scholastically Transmitted Disease.

After discovering the little creatures residing in their hair, we, as parents, are obligated to make a list of all those children with whom our own brood have been in close contact. Then comes the dreaded phone calls:

"I have some bad news, so-and-so's parent. We have lice and think you may have been infected."

How embarrassing, despite the multitudes of literature on the subject that claim the louse prefers clean hair over dirty. Then there's the cost of treatment. I've resisted the urge to bust out the clippers and shave them bald, considering a delousing kit costs an average of twenty bucks a pop. This time, we went with a home remedy — mayonnaise.

Now, you talk about embarrassing. Try slathering your head in the egg product and covering it with a plastic produce bag and not thinking you look like you're wearing a used rubber on your head. Let's see Howie Mandell add that to his comedic repertoire.

Everything stops for a spell. Nothing else matters in life until you expend hours of energy plucking nit-laden hairs and stuffing black bags with any thing cloth that can't be washed. When it's all over with, all parties are less promiscuous. They wrestle less, share beds less, and certainly swap hats less.


Alona said...

Oh I feel your pain. With 4 of my own, I managed to not encounter these little buggers until last year, my oldest is 14, and he's the one who brought it home Argh, Know what I found worked the best? Tea Tree oil, have them shampoo with it. Well look it up on the net, I don't remember the ratio..lol And if you need some I still have it, it's alil costly. Your welcome to borrow it.. *smile*

Anonymous said...

To beat the nits, my father, who didn't believe in spending money on medicine, used to make me and my 4 brothers dip a comb in gasoline and run it through our hair. It worked and we had fun chasing each other around with matches after the treatment.

Do you think that's why I'm bald? ;-)


Mr. B said...

Fun story: My adopted cousin, who is black, had lice despite the school nurse's insistance that black children cannot get lice. Gotta love the South there folks. Luckily, I never had the little buggers myself, nor did my brothers for that matter. Kerosene also works if you don't want to waste gas. Although, flammable children probably isn't the best idea.

theresa said...

It makes my head itch just to think about those things, and I've never had a bout of them myself. However, having worked with kids for a lot of years, I know the routine all too well. It's a lot of work, and you have to be thorough or they'll be back.

Ewww ... now I'm itching all over.

Kyle Stich said...

Alona - I read about the Tea Tree oil and have considered having the kids start shampooing with one of the TT shampoos on the market, as preventitive medicine.

Robert - We heard gas and kerosene were quite effective, but we heard as many "use its" as "whatever you do, don't use its." Could have something to do with baldness...I hear prolonged contact with gas can lead to cancer.

Jimmy - There are some crazy myths out there in regards to any disease. You do know that only sinners suffer leprosy don't you?

Theresa - When I received the dreaded call from Renee on my way home to work, my whole head crawled - and, I didn't even have any in my hair.

Ruben said...

Just reading the word lice made me squirm until I fell off my chair. My heart goes out to the kids.

ed said...

I know that one all too well. In the city where we used to live one of our friends with 5 children never bothered to do anything about them and the children had lice all the time. So if our kids got them we knew that as soon as we'd got them clear they only had to get near one of those children and we were back to square one again.

I always dreaded getting my hair cut in case I had any.

Funny, though, how as soon as they got to secondary school (11-16) they never had them.

I can vouch for tea tree oil - I personally can't stand the smell, but it did the trick on the bugs (maybe they can't stand the smell either).

Kyle Stich said...

Ruben - Thanks for the compassion.

Ed - You know all too well about the ping-ponging thing. I've considered letting the kids keep the little critters just because they're likely to pick them up again in the next couple months.

All - I'll do my best to get a new post up; I can feel the head scratching going on from coast to coast.

Rell said...

J. Breedlove, that's what they told me in high school. The lady used to just skip by me!

funny stuff...