In the past year twice I have found out after the fact that a little girl my DD is having a play-date with has recently had head lice. So I want to know, is it too much to ask for parents with children who are either sick or recently infested to let the fellow parents know before a play-date? Or am I being unreasonable in expecting a parent to fess up to an recent investation.
I just want everyone to know that I understand that lice happens, I know that it happens to the richest families as well as those who are not wealthy, to the cleanist families and to those that are not as clean. I understand that. Both the situations I described the parents knew of the lice, and both were treated infestations, so its possible that there is no issue. I would be furious if I found out a kid had an active infestation of lice and the parent knowingly sent them to my house. My concern with lice is that it is extremly hard to get rid of, the eggs can fall out of the hair and start a whole new coloney in your carpeting. I will try the over the counter protective measures outlined by other posters - those are great tips. I am just frustrated that the parents did not tell us before their kids came over for a playdate. I found out when I heard my daughther ask the other little girl who wanted to use my daughter's hair bows and brush "are you sure you don't have lice?" Then the little girl who had been scratching her head and playing with her hair all day said "well I will tell you this if you promise not to get mad, I had lice but its been a while and I used the shampoo twice". When I asked the little girl when she used the shampoo it sounded from her answer that it had been within the last few weeks, less then a month ago.
I know that lice is not a sickness, but for me the comparison remains - lice is in a sense "contagious" just like any viral illness and so I would like to know in advance if your kid has been sick recently.
Thank you to all of those who have replied, many of you had excellent ideas on how to prevent lice. Thanks!