Dear Urban Diplomat: am I evil for banning my kid’s friends, just because they might have lice?

Dear Urban Diplomat: am I evil for banning my kid’s friends, just because they might have lice?

Egg of the head louse (Image: Giles San Martin) 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I recently helped screen for lice at my daughter’s school, a process that involved an army of moms donning latex gloves and checking for tell-tale signs on every scalp. Two of her best friends turned out to have nits and were sent home with a note to their parents. Since then, I’ve put a moratorium on play dates with them. My daughter now thinks I’m evil incarnate, and I’m running out of excuses to give the other moms. Should I come clean with them? Move to another city? Help—I’m freaking out about lice.
­—Nitpicker, THE ANNEX

If your daughter thinks you’re evil now, just try moving her to another city. Besides, lice are everywhere; unless you snap up some prime real estate in Antarctica, you’re probably going to face the problem sooner or later. Yes, they’re annoying little buggers, but they don’t pose a serious health risk. So lift the play date ban, cross your fingers and be thankful it’s not bedbugs. Meanwhile, it’s probably best not to tell the other moms about your moment of temporary insanity, but you might want to ask them about how they handled the home delousing. You’ll need to know that stuff when the wee menaces inevitably come to nest at your place.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com