The 5 Stages of Head Lice: From Denial to Depression

All the feelings that come after finding lice on your kids’ heads.

by Marcia Kester Doyle

There are few things in this world that send a shiver down a parent’s spine more than the dreaded words, “Your child has head lice.” You never think it will happen to your children since you keep a clean home and even cleaner kids. Lice only happen to people who don’t bathe regularly, right?

Wrong. No one is immune to these infectious parasites. They live on the human scalp and feed on blood to survive. The female lice lay 8-10 eggs daily, which mature in less than two weeks and have the capability of living up to 30 days on the scalp. I learned the hard way that not only do lice travel at the speed of light through an elementary school classroom, they can also invade the cleanest heads and have the agility of an Olympic pole vaulter.  

My experience with head lice can be summed up in five phases similar to Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief: Denial and anger, followed by bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  Continue reading “The 5 Stages of Head Lice: From Denial to Depression”