Dear parent who refuses to treat their child’s head lice…


Dear parent of the child in my class who constantly has head lice, which you refuse to treat properly…

Your child has lice, a common issue that children at school and around other children pick up. It’s not nice, and it’s a bit of a pain to deal with but it is possible to get rid of them, and yet you choose, for whatever reason, to do nothing. You tell the teacher “they scream when I wash their hair”, or “I don’t have time to comb and remove them” or “I am freaked out by insects, I can’t touch them” or “all kids get them, they won’t hurt anyone”. I have heard a good few excuses why your child has lice that you refuse to treat properly, and frankly, I have had enough. There is no excuse to not deal with it. Lice won’t go away on their own, and not only is your child suffering because it’s head is itchy, possibly sore from being scratched and rubbed, but it’s also going to spread to other children around them, who’s parents then have the pleasure of dealing with a lice infestation.

It’s not fun, to make your child sit, whilst you comb through their hair, and pick out lice and get rid of the eggs. Yes, you have to do this several times over a period of a few weeks, and yes, you have to keep checking your child’s head, and the heads of other family members to make sure they are gone and not coming back. If you don’t they will not go away and they will spread.

The excuse that “I can’t get rid of them” doesn’t wash with me, if you will pardon the pun. I have dealt with seriously infested heads, riddled with head lice. It was laborious and painstaking, but I have literally removed hundreds from heads and managed to eradicate them, I have helped whole families treat themselves and get rid of them. I have shown people how to comb them out, what they look like and how to deal with them. There are tools out there, to help you, that don’t have to be toxic, or expensive, and if you really need, you can go to your GP and get help with them. If it’s that unbearable for you to deal with insects, on your own child’s head, then I will happily come round and do it for you, if it means it stops your child from spreading them to the rest of the class. No, lice are not something we should all just put up with, because you can’t be bothered or are too squeamish

Seriously, it’s not fair to let your child have to cope with a constantly itchy head, and sharing lice with the rest of the class. It’s not fair on the rest of the parents who do try and make sure their children are free of lice, or who treat head lice when they do occur.

It’s selfish and it makes me cross and very itchy, to think about it….

*this blog post is fact-based, not just a rant. There are parents at my children’s school who refuse to treat the head lice their children are struggling with. I am pretty sure we aren’t the only ones. Yes, my post is judgy, and I realise that there are certain social situations where a child may have issues that the parents can’t cope with, I have worked with families like that, but being lazy or plain selfish are not good reasons. If you are going to mouth off loudly in the playground about your drunken weekend away, where you can’t actually remember what you did, but you can’t take the time and effort to deal with your child’s head lice, then you are going to feel the brunt of my wrath and I may gift you a head lice comb…, oh and being vegan does not mean you can’t treat your kids’ head lice either, that’s an excuse I have heard has been used before too… :0*

Attachment Mummy has some tips on how to easily deal with headlice that might be helpful if you are really struggling. I know headlice are a pain but they are a fact of school-age children life and parenting and if you deal with them, it makes everyone’s life easier and nicer.

Posted in Friday's Rants from The Soap Box and tagged family health issues, Friday's Rant from the Soap Box, head lice, selfish parents.


  1. I have never heard people refuse to treat their child. I agree that it is lazy and selfish to choose not to treat a child because you don’t like lice or can’t be bothered. That’s wrong.
    We used to send children home with lice but I don’t think you are allowed to do that anymore. As a teacher it is very difficult when you know a child is repeatedly infected but I think this is a sign of neglect. Perhaps that’s a line you could take. Isn’t a refusal to treat a sign of neglect? #effitfriday

  2. Oh yuk, this has made me itchy. Are you serious?? People do that?? I am not looking forward to our first lice as I imagine that it is going to be all hell to deal with the child that hates having his hair touched. I think I’d shave it all off!!! Either way it would be dealt with #effitfriday

  3. So my daughter has gotten lice for the 1st time ever at her new school (this is the 1st time since I’ve had my 2 kids I’ve ever dealt with either of them getting lice). I also have a 9 yr old son & not ONCE has he gotten lice since he’s been in school; because I use a shampoo called Lice Shield.

    I started using Lice Shield on my daughter a few weeks back before she got lice. The issue is she stays with her dad 3 days out of the week. He refused to buy the Lice Shield, & it’s something you have to use every day for it to be effective. Now my daughter has lice.

    I went ahead & got Nix over the counter hearing it was the best medicine to use. Its been about 2 days since I treated all of our hair (I’m also suppose to treat everyone again in 7 days), & she’s still itching sometimes; when I checked her head I still found a few more eggs, not many @ all, but a few.

    I did everything as directed. My questions are what would be my next step in getting rid of it completely without having to go to the doctors to get a prescription? Of course if I need to go to the doctors I will, I just want to know is there another option I’m not aware of??? Also if the Lice Shield perhaps lost it’s effectiveness will Tea Tree Oil be an effective alternative for prevention? How do I prevent this from occuring again? Also I cleaned & sanitized my house top to bottom, do I need to do this again since I found a couple more eggs in her head??

    I figured since you seem to have so much experience in this you would have some good advice. Thanks so much in advance.

    A Stressed Mommy 😞.

    • Call Lice Clinics of America I live in Chicago and my step son gets them a lot because his mother refuses to treat him. She tells us she doesn’t want to be put the Chemicals in his head. I have two girls at home one 12 and one 17 months.

  4. Yes. I was one of the kids whose mom refused to treat the lice. I dealt with them for YEARS. Constantly itchy head. It was absolutely horrible. To this day she likes to believe that “none of her kids had lice growing up”. Still angry about it many years later.

  5. Unfortunately, I am currently like that child with lice. I’ve had lice for 3 years from ages 10-13, and it made me feel completely insecure. During tests at school, I was more focused on my itchy head rather than the questions. To sum it up, it was a total nightmare. I finally took matters into my own hands and tried literally every treatment out there and convinced my sister to do the same. My mom would always tell me that she had the her whole childhood and that it wasn’t a big deal. My parents never taught me full hygiene such as deodorant, showering daily, etc. I had to seek materials and advice from the internet, my friends, and other adults. My brother doesn’t seem to care at all about hygiene, however, and his lice still persisted. A few days ago, I realized I had gotten lice again from him only a few months after I had cured it. I am currently going crazy with the treatment, because I do NOT want to start high school with lice. If I do, it will probably stay until college.

    • Your best bet may be to see if you can see a professional person who deals with lice, to help you. Or talk to the school welfare office and see if they can help you. I used to work with kids in schools and the community helping families to deal with lice, it’s not easy if your family don’t actually care. I hope you can get it sorted. Sorry you have to deal with that.

    • Leah, have you used a “nit free terminator” lice comb ( Amazon for $10-12. )? Lice treatment clinics sell these metal combs too. You have to get the eggs out. Comb daily; the combs in the drug stores don’t work like these combs do. I’m a mom and my 13 year old daughter has had lice 6 times in her life (the latest episode being tonight, which is why I am on the web, trying to come down after an epic 3 hour combing session. Each time she gets lice we comb and comb for days until nothing lice/nit/nymph comes out of her long hair. Then we’re good for 6 months two years or whatever, till she and he long hair picks it up again. Much sympathy to all lice fighters.

  6. I have two daughters of my own and also two stepdaughters who are twins. The twins spend every weekend with us and I have been with my husband for 6 years now. The twins have had lice since they were about 4 or 5 and they are 8 now. It has been an ongoing problem for years and my own daughters ended up getting lice a few times. Their mother seems to not care and is lazy and it gets me mad because not only do I feel bad for the twins but I’m tired of this never ending swapping back and forth. My daughters do not currently have them because I have been on top of it, however, as of right now the twins will not be staying over until their hair is treated properly by their mother. My husband and I were going to take matters into our own hands but it looks like their mother does not want us doing that, I think she was starting to feel super embarrassed that this has gone on for so long now. So we will see what happens, but one thing is for sure, I will say something to their mom myself at this point because this is definitely unacceptable.

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