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To Sam

My friend has nits!

Well, one of my close friends at school has lice and I don't know what to do? Should I tell her? I'd obviously do it in the nicest way I could but I'm not sure how she'd react? I know if I had them I'd want someone to tell me. I also really don't want to catch them because I know how much of a pain they are! She also has really thick hair and she seems to have had them for quite a long time. I don't even know if she knows? My question really is should I tell her and if so, how? Thank you x.
Ask Sam


Hello there,

Thank you for your letter.
I think you’ve done really well to write to me about your concern for your friend. You said you think she might have been suffering with nits for some time.

I can see from what you’ve told me that you don’t want to upset or hurt your friend in any way. At the same time, it sounds like if it was you in that situation, you would want your friend to tell you about the nits. It sounds like you are a really caring friend, and your friend is lucky to have you looking out for her.

Like you said, nits can be a real nuisance at school, as they’re very easy to pass on and anyone can get them. If they are not treated quickly, they can just keep moving around from person to person in the classroom. There is some useful information on nits on the NHS website.

It might be an idea to think about when would be a good time and place to talk to your friend on her own. It might help to point out that nits are mostly attracted to healthy clean hair and that nits are never a sign of someone not keeping themselves clean.

If you are worried about speaking to your friend directly, perhaps you could talk to the school nurse, or a teacher. Occasionally, having a bad case of nits for a long time might be a sign that things aren’t right at home, especially if the nits are never treated. If there is anything else that is making you worried about your friend, it would be a really good idea to share these worries with an adult that your trust.

You are welcome to speak to a Childline counsellor at any time about your concerns. It might also be helpful to suggest that your friend could consider talking with a counsellor, either by logging on for a 1-2-1 Chat (which works like instant messenger) or by calling for free on 0800 1111

Take care,


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