Stop The Stigma

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ontario company The LiceSquad Inc. calls for an end to the STIGMA surrounding head lice.

Wouldn't it be nice to see our society regard head lice with a little TLC instead of fear, shame and disgusts? For the individual who has contracted head lice, a TIMELY, LOVING and CORRECT treatment approach is needed. For the bugs themselves, a little TERMINATE LICE COMPLETELY works for me.

So often, the first reaction and response to this contagious condition is a step back, followed by fear, frustration, anger, shame and finger-pointing. Backs go up as the questions begin. Who has it? What do I do now? When will it be gone? Where did I get it from and why me? We regularly hear news stories and read articles about the latest outbreaks, chemical resistance issues, new cures, as well as stories that tug at the heart strings such as children being over exposed to toxic pesticides, girls having heads shaved and people trying remedies and myths with sometimes dangerous outcomes. No one wants to deal with lice and many will try whatever it takes to get rid of them. Let's clear the air on the STIGMA associated with head lice. If we look at the facts presented over the years we learn that lice are a human condition and they have been around since the beginning of time. Lice do not discriminate between race, religion, class or age. They prefer well-kept hair as their ideal environment but they can certainly be found in un-kept hair. It is hard to tell if lice are at an epidemic level right now as there does not appear to be any formal reporting systems in place. One thing you can be sure of is that whenever large groups of people gather, especially children, lice have a better change of spreading and multiplying. This is why many schools, camps and daycare centers experience periodic outbreaks, some on a larger scale than others. This does not make them responsible or to blame as it only takes one unsuspecting child with active lice to enter into a group or home to create an outbreak. This leads me back to my company's approach on head lice. I call it the TLC method. If society wants to break the stigma and make this issue a little less prevalent, we all need to practice the following measures.

T is for TIMELY. Head lice need to be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner; otherwise they will spread to others in a group or family. Screening for lice and head checks need to be done regularly at places where large numbers of children gather and in every home. This important task will help spot an infestation early before it is allowed to infiltrate a group or family over time. Once found, lice have to be treated immediately and preventive steps must be taken so that when treatment is occurring, others in the home or environment do not pick it up during this time. For the person who has lice and does not know it or knows it but does not treat it right away, the infestation can take hold quickly and be harder to get rid of. Dealing with lice in a TIMELY manner means being dedicated to regular head checks and when found, treating immediately and appropriately. L is for LOVING. In realizing that lice make many people feel ashamed, afraid and outcast, we need to do our part to help banish the myth that there is something wrong, bad or dirty about having lice. We need to inject some humour, love and attention towards helping the head lice sufferer realize they are not alone, not to blame and certainly have nothing to be ashamed of. We need to lovingly help them get the lice and nits from their hair in a safe and non-invasive way without letting frustration build. Ridiculing, segregating and getting angry with those who have lice only further imposes the stigma of shame. Shaving a girl's head and over- applying toxic chemicals can also be viewed as abusive and potentially dangerous to the physical and mental health of the person suffering with lice. Love can conquer all things and it can indeed conquer lice when partnered with the proper knowledge and tools for treatment. C is for the CORRECT APPROACH. Communities, lice sufferers, schools, camps, agencies and daycare centers need to be provided with accurate information, proper tools, and treatments that are safe. Following a systematic treatment regime in correlation to the lifecycle of the head louse has proven to provide the best results. Combining some form of topical treatment and manual nit removal using a specialized comb designed for this purpose over time truly is the best way to beat lice.

The next part of the TLC method is to TERMINATE LICE COMPLETELY -- from the head of the sufferer and the environment.

Once you have the proper tools, treatment schedule and product, your main goal is to terminate the lice from the head. More time should be spent doing nit and lice removal than anything else you may have been advised to do. It is important to apply treatment as directed in the case of pesticide and my opinion is to stop using them if they fail to work the first two times. My recommendation is to use a safe non-toxic method that can be applied every 4th to 5th day for a period of two weeks. Combing should be done daily to remove nits. The environment needs to be taken care after every topical treatment has been done. So instead of wasting time on cleaning and laundry, your daily focus should be on nit and lice removal. Cleaning every 4th to 5th day after each follow up treatment. Spraying pesticides on your bed or in your environment in my opinion is not safe and does not cure lice infestations. Instead, vacuum items that have come in contact with lice. Place items in the dryer on high heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Or if you cannot vacuum or place items in a dryer, set these items aside for 24 to 48 hours as Lice die without a blood meal in this time.

If you want to know the FACTS OF LICE or learn about some common HEAD LICE MYTHS, please fell free to visit www.licesquad.com My company has been assisting and educating the public, families, schools, camps and daycare centres since 2000, providing on-site services, free information and education. Our mission is to educate people and to help protect children from the potential dangers associated with the overuse and abuse of pesticides. We are also very focused on breaking the stigma associated with lice. We hope that you will support our efforts by passing this information on. My goal in writing this is to bring the issue of head lice to the forefront and to begin breaking the stigma that has for so long been associated with lice. We can all do our individual part to help create a society that treats head lice and those affected by it with a little TLC and in doing so to begin to "STOP THE STIGMA"

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The LiceSquad Inc
109 Everton Dr
Lefroy, Ontario

Phone: (705) 456-4440
Toll Free: (866) 838-LICE

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