I read somewhere that September was National Head Lice Prevention Month, I thought I should share information about head lice with you. First of all I want to dispel the notion that people who are not clean get head lice....NOT TRUE....head lice are more attracted to clean heads of hair, because it is easier for them to attach the the shaft of the hair.
My first encounter with head lice was thirty years ago! I laugh now, but it was NOT funny at the time. For some reason my daughter was at my mother's house, don't remember why because my mom rarely kept my children. At any rate, my daughter (who is now 34) was scratching her head so my mom looked at her scalp and found a bug. Mom put the bug in a tiny bottle and off to the pharmacy they went. Mom was horrified when the pharmacist told her my daughter had head lice. Of course, Mom yelled at me for "letting her get head lice." Gave me a lecture about washing her hair, etc. As I said, I laugh now, but not then. My daughter had her waist length long thick thick thick blonde curly hair washed every night, when she took her bath. It was NOT funny.
Since then I have had the pleasure? of getting aquainted with several bouts of head lice. I have called the school superintendent, the county health department, other parents and grandparents, teachers, etc. in the quest to rid the schools of head lice. One time I went to the store and purchased seventy dollars worth of RID, lined up every kid I could find, that had been around my children, and we had a RID shampoo party! I get ticked at the public schools when they allow kids in the building with head lice. I hate head lice!!! Now my head is itching just writing this blog post!
Staying Ahead of Lice
Watch for signs of head lice, such as frequent head scratching. Anyone can get head lice... mainly by head-to-head contact but also from sharing hats, brushes and headrests. Lice do not jump or fly.
Check all family members for lice and nits (lice eggs) at least once a week. Only those infested should be treated. Lice are reddish-brown wingless insects, nits are grayish-white, always oval shaped, and are glued at an angle to the side of the hair shaft.Be sure not to confuse nits with hair debris such as bright irregularly shaped clumps of dandruff stuck to the hair shaft or elongated segments of dandruff encircling the hair shaft and easily dislodged. Lice treatment is not appropriate for hair debris.
Consult your pharmacist or physician before applying or using lice treatment pesticides when the person involved is pregnant, nursing, has allergies, asthma, epilepsy, has pre-existing medical conditions, or has lice or nits in the eyebrows or eyelashes. Never use a pesticide on or near the eyes.
Remember, all lice-killing products are pesticides. If you choose to purchase an over-the-counter treatment, follow the directions carefully and use with caution. If the product fails, do not switch to other over-the-counter treatments or use any prescription products as a "last resort". This can be potentially harmful. Manual Removal is the safe alternative and a necessary component to any head lice treatment regimen.
Follow package directions carefully. Use the product over the sink, not in the tub or shower. Always keep the eyes covered.
Remove all nits. This assures total lice treatment. Separate hair in sections and remove all attached nits with a special lice comb, baby safety scissors, or your fingernails.
I love Tea Tree Oil (found in health food stores), I kept tea tree oil and poured it into all household shampoo. It helped keep head lice away! It does smell strong when you use it, but the smell goes away fast. I recommend tea tree oil.
Wash bedding and recently worn clothing in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Combs and brushes may be soaked in hot water (not boiling) for 10 minutes.
Avoid lice sprays! Vacuuming is the safest and best way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals and car seats.
Notify your child's school, camp, child care provider, neighborhood parents, or anyone your child has been around. Check for lice on a regular basis. This is the best way to protect your family and community.
I am sorry if your head is now itching too.