MINNEAPOLIS, MN – On July 17, 2017
Delta Airlines removed a family of four from one of their aircraft after discovering one of the family members had lice. The decision by Delta airlines to remove the Travis family because of head lice was both unfortunate and uninformed. While we acknowledge that the airline has every right to remove passengers as they see fit, we believe this was a gross over-reaction based on ignorance of head lice and its properties.
Head lice are very misunderstood; we encounter frantic families daily that are panicked not only because they don’t know how to rid themselves or their children of lice, but they also feel guilty for having allowed it to happen. The stigma of head lice is very powerful, and discovering it in your children can feel very overwhelming.
But the stigma is the most powerful part. Like so many things in life. much of the negativity and fear surrounding head lice could be assuaged by simply becoming more informed. Head lice are easy to treat, don’t jump or fly, can’t live on a couch, pillow, or airplane seat, and are not signs of unwashed or unclean hair.
Below are some very important points from our FAQ page to remember about head lice:
Head Lice ARE:
- 1 of the top 3 reasons kids miss school.
- Extremely common! Between 6-12 million U.S. kids 3-11 years old get head lice each year.
- Not dangerous, but are contagious (and annoying).
- NOT signs of unwashed or unclean hair. They thrive in clean hair!
- Unable to jump, fly or swim.
- Unable to live on your pets.
- Unable to live in your environment (couch, carpet, furniture, pillow, sheets, mattress, car, movie theater, airplane).
Head lice do not discriminate, and they cross all demographics. They’re also very common and they love clean hair. Head lice can be disturbing, but they’re not a health hazard and don’t spread any disease.
We encourage Delta and other airlines to update their policies regarding head lice to reflect facts, not stigma. Head lice itself is not a reason for embarrassment, but discriminating against families for having it definitely is. We at Hair Fairies stand ready to help.