Dealing with head lice is an inevitable part of parenting as children spend time with others at school and during the school holidays.
But one mum was shocked by the response she received from another parent after informing her her child had head lice.
The unnamed woman said her daughter had been playing with her neighbour’s child when she noticed lice in the girl’s hair and approached her mum about the situation.
She assumed her neighbour would “jump right on it” having noticed the pesky creatures in the child’s hair – but received a completely different answer, reports the Mirror.
Not only did the mum know all about her daughter’s head lice, she said she wouldn’t be using any lice-killing products on her daughter’s hair and would instead just “comb the lice and nits into the garden”, as she thought that would give the insects a “chance of survival”.
The mum spoke about her dilemma in a message sent to life coach Alex Carlton on the Australian website Nine.com.au, but the post recently resurfaced on Reddit.
In it, she wrote: “My seven-year-old daughter is best friends with the girl next door, whose family are vegan. That’s fine; we respect their choice and even make special food when River comes to play. My problem is that recently this otherwise delightful child was at our house and scratching furiously … and I discovered she was crawling with head lice.
“I’m pretty easygoing – which kid doesn’t get nits every now and then? – and casually mentioned it to her mum thinking she’d jump right on it. To my surprise, this woman said that not only did she know about her daughter’s condition but refused to do anything about it. Vegans don’t kill any living things, is the reasoning. My neighbour told me she was in the practice of combing the lice and nits into the garden where they had a chance of survival. My jaw hit the floor.
“What do I do now? I don’t want to separate the kids but there’s no way ‘combing them into the garden’ is going to work (industrial-grade pesticide barely works) and I don’t want my daughter covered in vermin.”
In response, Alex described the neighbour as a “sanctimonious twit” and pointed out that because head lice do not fly, only survive on the human scalp and feed exclusively on human blood, there’s very little chance of them surviving on the grass in her garden, therefore “condemning them to a slow, parched death” outside.
She also said that if the mum doesn’t want to stop her child from playing with the neighbour’s child, the best course of action would be to do what she can to prevent her daughter from picking up the lice by making sure her hair is tied back tightly and using a “protective spray” made up of conditioner, tea tree and eucalyptus oil, and water.
And when the post was shared on Reddit, commenters were equally baffled by the neighbour’s actions, as one person said: “Living life with a parasite infestation in your body crosses that line,” while another posted: “I don’t even know if lice are sentient but regardless, we have a right to defend ourselves,” and a third added: “Parasites for me are free game for unaliving.”
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