Joys of parenthood: 10 things I didn’t want to know about nits

1. There’s no surer way of your child getting nits than voicing the words ‘we’ve never had nits’. Expect outbreak to occur approx 3-4 days later. Nits are incredibly common and not an indication of child neglect.

2. Nits are often spotted just before bedtime, most commonly on a night that’s running behind schedule. Always ensure that an emergency bottle of nit shampoo is purchased and stored close by, as frantic emptying of storage boxes and bathroom cabinets can alert children to panic. Outbreaks are also common when your husband/partner is away on business and you must multi-task nit removal with calm reassurance of other siblings. Try to settle other siblings in their beds before tackling nit removal, as the process can be noisy and disruptive to a harmonious bedtime routine.

3. When nits are the enemy, Google is your friend. Research is both vital and shocking; wriggling lice are unsightly.

4. Seeing louse bites on your child’s beautiful neck is guilt wrenchingly upsetting. Bravery of the child will exacerbate said guilt. Rewarding your child’s stoic maturity is critical in the easing of parental shame.

4. Before stripping bedlinen and removing potentially infested soft toys, it is recommended to find an un-cuddled replacement toy from your own bedroom to pacify child’s disappointment at sleeping in an otherwise empty bed.

5. If your washing machine unfortunately exploded the previous day due to foreign object such as a Lego creation, for example, it is recommended to store all contaminated items in a black bin bag until the new appliance arrives. Where possible, try to remain calm when the new appliance delivery men arrive.

6. When going to bed yourself following nit removal, expect a disturbed nights sleep of neurotic itching. It is uncommon for your child’s nits to also infest your eyebrows or unshaven body hair, or be lurking beneath your finger nails.

7. Nitcombing oneself is tricky. A hand held mirror will enable closer inspection of your own hair, ideally locate this before you start combing. If nit shampoo goes into the eyes, rinse thoroughly and avoid foul language where possible.

8. When checking siblings hair the following morning, try to feign calm indifference to reassure last night’s infested child that nits are not dirty or shameful. Wait until all children are safely delivered to their academic setting before commencing a thorough anti-bac and deep clean of your home.

9. When delivering your child to school the morning following an infestation, take note of all children with long hair who are not wearing hair bobbles and clips. Potential new friendships and future play date approval will henceforth be judged on whether hair is securely fastened.

10. When reporting a nit situation to your child’s teacher, expect barely veiled revulsion. Be reassured that nits will not be recorded on a child’s permanent record and are unlikely to affect their academic progression, university acceptance or employment prospects.


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