It is saddening to hear that having lice has created a social stigma that brings devastating effect to both the concerned youngster and his parents. This humiliation causes a child to skip school, for instance, to avoid being bullied. The parents, on the other hand, felt embarrassed and even incompetent for being unable to prevent head lice from infesting their kid.
It is important to take note that head lice are easy to catch and as common as a cold. And though head lice can be difficult to control, it can be treated. Having one has nothing to do with social status or grooming, though. It is the negative notion we put to it that makes it embarrassing. But the shame it creates is more hurtful than the itchy feeling it gives to the kid. How to stop then this social stigma?
I attended a campaign that aims for a kuto-free Philippines. Lamoiyan Corporation, through its product Licealiz Head Lice Treatment Shampoo launched the Kilusang Kontra Kuto last year. Now on its second year, the Nationwide Oplan Alis Kuto campaign continues and targets more schools and communities. Lamoiyan likewise partners with the Department of Health, UP Manila College of Public Health, and Mommy Bloggers Philippines. This Filipino-owned company believes that its campaign for a kuto-free Philippines will all the more succeed with the help of the government, the academe, and parents.
During the campaign, a few mommy bloggers shared and narrated how their children got head lice. This act of speaking up normalizes head lice as part of a childhood experience. And the more parents talk about how head lice transfer from one kid to another, the more it makes having lice normal and very possible.
Know your facts
It is the inaccurate information – deliberately intended or not – about head lice that leads to stigma. Most believe that one is more likely to get head lice if his hair is dirty or if the house is untidy. This misconception makes the age-old stereotype (that head lice love the hair of the poor) seems true. Thus a poverty-stricken kid who has itchy scalp and scratches his head in public is more likely being avoided. The poor kiddo has been misjudged just because of his social status and appearance.
The best way to counter such misconception is education and proper information dissemination. This is the same efforts the Kilusan Kontra Kuto does. In its effort to educate the public on lice infestation issues, its Licealiz caravan travels to different schools and barangays. Students and their parents are gathered for a short yet informative lecture about head lice.
Research says that children between 10-15 years old are more likely to have head lice. This is because they tend to share hair brush and caps and even lean on each other. It is prudent then to orient children to avoid activities that lead to head-to-head contact with their playmates. Likewise, advise kids not to share personal belongings like hats, headbands, hoodies, combs, and even headphones. As much as possible also, there should be separate hair accessories for each member of the family.
It wouldn’t hurt as well if we put a scarf or handkerchief over movie theater or airplane seats. Lice can live up to three days without a host and having that added protection may somehow help. Vaccuming any upholstery (where lice might breed and wait for a human host) wouldn’t hurt as well. Again, it is prudent to be safe than sorry.
Head lice is not a disease. It is a problem. And just like any obstacle, it has a solution. Kill head lice. It is possible by using a head lice treatment shampoo like Licealiz.
Licealiz is not only a head lice treatment shampoo. It also has a conditioning formula that makes the hair noticeably soft, too. One active ingredient found in Licealiz is pyrethrin which kills lice and even nits (eggs of head lice or lisa)real fast. Licealiz is non-toxic and safe to use. It retails at P70 and can be bought in all Mercury Drug Stores nationwide. If one would like to try it first, he can buy it on sachets.
During the Licealiz caravan, school kids from the Enlisted Men’s Signal Village Elem School in Taguig got their hair shampooed using Licealiz. They were also given a lice comb to check their hair regularly.
End the stigma of head lice
Part of the objective of the Kilusang Kontra Kuto is to remove the stigma associated with having kuto. And Lamoiyan does this by educating communities on lice infestation issues. As what Lamoiyan Corporation Marketing Director Bing Cavestany said in a statement, “We want to drive home the message that everyone can be potentially infested by kuto. Having one is not something to be ashamed about and definitely to ridicule others for.” The company through the Licealiz caravan also encourages the communities to unite and take action to solve this public health problem together.
Again, having an active head lice infestation has little to do with personal hygiene or social status. Sadly, its destructive and even traumatic effect create animosity within the school and community.
Let us stop this social stigma. Let us know our facts. Educate ourselves and our kids about head lice and its possible infestation. Let us talk about head lice just like how we discuss about getting a cold or a bruise. Let us get proper treatment should we got head lice. And most importantly, let us not discriminate. Often, our unjust treatment and hurtful actions are what hurt the affected children the most more than the itchy feeling head lice gives them.
Again, we can stop this social stigma. Let us be first to take part and act.
Momi Berlin Directory
Devoted. Compassionate, Instinctive. Berlin loves to write personal narratives, thrilling discoveries, and mommy tips that make daily living the happiest. She shares the small house with her husband and their five boys.