New trend for parents—lice parties, anyone?

Photo courtesy of iStock/monkeybusinessimages

As kids returned to school this week, they reunited with old friends and found new ones too. They also may have found some unwanted friends. Lice.

Back to school means your kids are, unfortunately, exposed to this common pest, which can be transferred from head to head during close contact. But don’t fret, you can throw your very own lice party, where all your friends and their kids can enjoy a BBQ while professionals remove the lice!

Oh how I wish I were joking. But this is the hot new trend – you pay professional lice pickers—about $75 an hour for one professional—to come to your house and remove the lice from partygoers’ hair. And when you’re not getting deloused, you can enjoy some food and games. The Lice Squad of Canada even has tips on how to throw a great lice party. First you need a theme, maybe a craft party. And then you need food. The Lice Squad suggests wine and cheese for the parents.

I’m not sure about you, but this whole concept boggles my mind. When I was a kid and inevitably got lice as all kids do, my parents dealt with it themselves. They spent hours scouring my siblings’ and my hair; they made us use the horrible shampoo and stuffed all our beloved stuffed animals into garbage bags. I’m sure it was as unpleasant for them as it was for us. But we’re their kids and lice, like poop, vomit and snot, is one of the many gross things that comes with being a parent.

However lice parties and professional nit pickers allow parents a chance to pay someone else to deal with this unpleasant part of parenthood. One of my editors, Helen, said she could never casually drink some chardonnay while someone else dealt with her son. And she’s so right! How did we get to this point where we actually need professional lice pickers? And that lice removal is cause for a party?

The one thing I do enjoy about lice parties is that they remove the shame of having lice. Every kid gets lice and they should know that doesn’t mean they’re dirty. This party removes the stigma attached to lice.

Yet, despite all this, I still can’t get on board with lice parties. Raising a kid is expensive enough, so why pay someone to remove lice when you can do it yourself. And if you need an excuse to throw a party, then have a back-to-school celebration, where you can still have crafts and a BBQ, plus wine for the parents. Only you can skip the invite to the lice ladies.

What do you think of lice parties?