One of my favorite quotes from author Melody Beattie reminds me that, “few situations—no matter how greatly they appear to demand it—can be bettered by us going berserk.” I have this quote hanging on my refrigerator. Unfortunately, I was nowhere near my refrigerator when I found out my three boys and I had head lice.
Going berserk was my first response. Seeing live, active head lice crawling in my kids hair was traumatic (that’s a whole other story). I headed to Facebook to ask for advice from other mom’s and the internet to get schooled in lice. And sure enough, my friends did not disappoint in providing a wealth of wisdom. So now, I’d like to pass that wisdom on to you.
What you do NOT need:
- To freak out
- To bag up everything in your child’s bedroom
- To shave everyone’s head in the house
Come to find out, going berserk–bagging up half the house and moving it to the garage, cleaning the furniture with vinegar, washing and vacuuming everything, spraying the seats in the car with alcohol and spraying the entire house with a tea tree and mint spray was a bit over the top (who knew!?). After successful treatment, the professionals recommend washing bedding. If there is worry about anything else, you can throw it in the dryer for 20-40 minutes, the freezer for 24 hours or vacuum it.
What you need:
- Professional nit comb
- Some product to help loosen up the nits
- Professional help (perhaps—I recommend to any rookie who is prone to freak-out)
Friends, it is all about this nit comb. In fact, if you have children in the house, I would recommend having one on hand. Not only can it be used in the removal of lice, it can be used on a regular basis to check for them in the first place.
There is no need to douse your children in scary neurotoxic chemicals. You simply need something to loosen the grip that the lice and the nits have on the head/hair and comb them ALL out. A number of friends recommended the LadyBugs lice removal kit. While I recommend the products, make sure it comes with the silver metal comb (not the orange one that looks like a giant toothbrush).
I found great comfort in going to a professional. Yes—there are people who make it their business to take care of lice! If you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I would 100% recommend Simply Nitty. The studio is charming, fun and inviting and the owners and their staff were simply a delight. They could relate to the stress, were super knowledgeable and immediately put us all at ease. I can’t say enough how impressed I was with Simply Nitty and the whole process. I found them through a simple Google search, and I bet there is a professional of some sort in your area too.
What you may want to do to prevent lice in the future (or to begin with):
- Weekly comb through of wet hair
- Hair products with tea tree and mint
Friends my three boys and I survived lice and you will too. The professionals also recommend combing through the hair with a nit comb after showering, once a week. From here on out we will use shampoos and conditioners with tea tree and mint (evidently lice aren’t big fans of these scents) and I will spritz the boys with tea tree and mint essential oils (diluted in water or there are lice prevention sprays out there too) before they head off to school. Lice lessons learned—no need to go berserk—you’ve got this!
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