Will I catch head lice?

I don’t want to go to my friend’s party because she has head lice. How can I tell her? Be honest, says our elder.

Dear EWC

Hey, so my really close friend has head lice. I’ve seen bugs crawling in her hair on many occasions and I’ve told her this but she still hasn’t gotten rid, or refuses to believe. Anyways this friend really wants me to go to her house this weekend for her birthday party. She is super excited and really wants me to go and hasn’t stopped talking about it for two months straight. My parents have both said no I can’t go, and I know if I go there’s a very good chance I could get head lice. I don’t know what to tell her or how to make up a good enough excuse as to why I can’t go. Any advice???

GrannyJ replies

Thanks for writing to EWC. I don’t know if you have already come up with an answer to your questions but I will give you my advice anyway. I think you should be honest with your friend and tell her your parents won’t let you go to the party because of the head lice, because head lice are contagious. Tell her you are sorry that you have to miss the party but don’t have any choice. That’s really all you have to say.

Hopefully, she will talk to her family about the problem and they will help her with treatment. My understanding is that there is a process to treat the person(s) who is infested, as well as the person’s home surroundings. I actually just looked it up on the internet, and there is a little work to it, but it’s not that difficult.

I am surprised that your friend’s school has not become aware of her head lice infestation. Usually, the school nurse will make the determination that the child needs to be sent home, and rechecked before being allowed to return to school. I assume you go to the same school with your friend, and if I were your mom I would call the school and discreetly mention that this girl has head lice. That way the school can request that your friend’s parents give her the proper treatment for her problem. I’m sure your friend would prefer to be rid of the lice, and it isn’t fair to other children at school that are at risk of being infested.

I hope this helps, and I hope your friend gets the help she needs. Take care!

Letter #: 439624
Category: Friendship

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