Head Lice – how to prevent it and treat it!

13 Mar

Maybe you’re wondering how this will save you some money! 😉  There was so much great info about it on our facebook group – time to share it with everyone!  It’s one of those things I’ve been working hard to avoid, but think it’s great to have the info just in case (knock on wood!)

If your kid’s school keeps sending home lice notices here are some ways to try to avoid it:

The basics are don’t share anything, hats, scarves etc.  Keep your kids hair tied up if it’s long, and be vigilant in checking. The notes that are sent say to check daily for 2 weeks. You can also use things like tea tree oil in your shampoo or sprayed onto the hair, or coconut oil to try to repel them. You can even buy special shampoos to avoid them.

If you do end up with a kid with head lice, one of our facebook regulars had some great advice:

“As a stylist, lice are a huge pain in the backside but that’s about it. They sell treatments over the counter at all pharmacies. Do as the instructions suggest, and most important, pull all the eggs off that are cemented in about 1/2″-1″ away from the scalp. Treatment may have to be repeated and wash all the bedding, hats, scarves in HOT water, and anything that can’t get washed, stuffed toys, etc. toss, or stick in a bag and throw them outside to freeze or in your freezer. They won’t live off the scalp after a couple of days, as they need body heat, but if kids play with the same toys that may have lice on them, it will reoccur. Just check the kids faithfully behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. Louse are really small so they may get missed, but you want to catch them before they lay eggs because then there are several live ones that will lay eggs in a cycle. A good sign that there is a louse that has laid the eggs is the cemented dandruff looking watch spots near the root that do not move unless you pull them off. Dandruff or dry scalp flakes usually move easily just by shaking the hair up a little. The little combs that come in the kits don’t work well enough…better to pull them off with your fingers. Sounds gross but totally not harmful to you. Just do the treatment first to kill off anything that is alive.”  A big thanks to Roberta for the real world advice!

A gross topic, but knowing a bit in advance can definitely help save you money if and when it happens – also to keep it from reoccuring. What are your tips for avoiding lice, or dealing with them? Have you gotten a lot of notes from school? Has anyone used one of those services that comes to clean your house?

11 Replies to “Head Lice – how to prevent it and treat it!

  1. we get notices on average once a month right now (daycare and school), my daughter always has her hair up and we only wash their hair 1-2 times a week, putting it up when she has a bath during the week. because we heard they are attracted to clean hair and loose hair. we have never had lice….*knock on wood*

  2. I’ve had it twice in my life personally, and honestly yes they suck when you have them, but they aren’t the end of the world. We used the shampoo and my mom was really vigilant with combing out the nits. It didn’t take that long to get rid of them. IF you do get them in your home, call Poulins. They’re fantastic. My mom bought a spray that we used on all non-washable things(mattresses, pillows, carpet, couches, etc) and you just leave your house for a few hours and then it’s all done. Toxic chemicals aren’t good, but its the fastest and easiest(and cheapest) way to eradicate them. Plus, it’s the same stuff exterminators would use if you hired them to come in, you just do it yourself. And they’ll give you really good instructions so you can do it safely.

  3. One other thing, I’ve lived thru bed bugs. And those are BY FAR worse than lice. If do you do any travelling where you get them, or THINK you might have(especially if you go to any third world countries, even if you stay in tourist places) take all of your stuff straight to the laundromat. DO NOT take it in your house! Or if you must go home with it before washing everything put it in garbage bags and leave it outside in or in your garage. Use the same washing techniques listed above for lice. And get a similar spray product to treat luggage.

  4. Somehow raising three kids we never got them (knock on wood also!)
    but my daughter’s friend got lice many times over.
    One thing to note is if the kids hang their coats on hooks or in a cubby
    in Kindergarten, ie) like in alphabetical order, all the “F’s” and G’s” seemed to get them.
    So really watch that the kids garments are not touching each other either if the
    kids are being re-infected. They aren’t supposed to live off the scalp but I think
    they can for a brief time! and of course teach kids not to try on other people’s hats
    and scarves. I agree with Jennifer, it’s good to tie up longer hair!

  5. My cousin’s daughter kept coming home from school with them, they would treat her, get rid of them, and then she would come home with them again. This went on for almost the entire school year, and they were having issues with how much the shampoo was cutting into their budget. Out of desperation, my cousin picked up a box of hair colour that was the same colour as her daughter’s hair, and coloured it that night. They didn’t have any problems after that. I don’t know if this is a viable option for everyone, but it definately worked for them!

  6. I have never had to deal with lice on my own child (yet, I’m sure) but remember sitting through Nix treatment a few times when I was a kid… yuck!

    A couple years ago, I heard about a lice treatment that involves a lot fewer chemicals: Cetaphil! Here’s the link: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/the-alternative-medicine-cabinet-cetaphil-for-lice/

    Apparently it is more effective than the chemical treatments and the procedure sounds a whole lot less annoying. If I recall correctly, buying bottle after bottle of Nix gets pretty costly, so this method is likely to save you some money, too.

  7. Try extra strength denorex shampoo. When my girls were small they got lice and we checked on the web for cures. We experimented on a live lice. We put some of the denorex on the lice and it hardend right up. Some cures and shampoo don’t work because the lice on your childs head has been treated with those same shampoos and are now immune. So you have to look for other ideas. Make sure you get all the nits out, 1 nit left starts the ordeal all over again.

  8. I have quite a bit of experience with lice and the only treatment that worked effectively and stress free was NYDA! Our pediatrician told us to buy it and it was the only treatment she would recommend. Plus buying the Leismeiter comb. It is amazing and pulls the nits out. Nyda kills the nits and live lice. It is pesticide free. If you follow the directions and keep checking head daily for nits and do the follow up treatment you will be lice free. It may be more expensive than the the other treatments but it works and gives you peace of mind. I would be happy to talk to any mom who has to deal with lice for the first time. It can be overwhelming and stressful but honestly these two items are amazing and make treatment not so daunting.

  9. My daughter got them on our overseas vacation. I got rid of the lice with over the counter washes a couple of times.I did my research on the topic cause I found that eggs were the hardest to remove as they have a wax like substance that sticks them to the hairs. I found during my research that if you mix equal parts white vinegar n water, pour it over the head generously and leave it in for about a minute n then wash n rinse the hair, all the eggs will wash away easily in water as the vinegar melts the wax. It was very effective and my daughter’s head was lice and eggs free in a couple of washes.

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