Head Lice!

Rene - posted on 10/08/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Don't you just HATE them? My 6 year old arrived home from nursery school yesterday with a very discreet letter. (This is my first time with these little critters) Honestly, I don't feel embarrassed, like some mothers I know, I just feel bloody annoyed! All the time and effort that now has to go into killing these bugs ... I really needed this like a hole in the head, you know what I mean???

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Jackie - posted on 10/08/2010

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Rene - as far as i know, the vinegar doesn't repel them but the vinegar helps loosen the nits that are already there. It makes them not so sticky and easier to pull off the follicle. I THINK, anyways. Mayo is supposed to do the same thing. It helps them slide off better. At the risk of smelling like a tossed salad. I don't know if these things work though. The only thing that I know works is the over the counter lice treatment. Again, good luck.

Karen - posted on 10/09/2010

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There are so many myths about those little critters, but at the end of the day no matter what your hair is like they will always be a pain. My niece came from Aussie to live with us and she was riddled which of course spread to us, never had them before. We spent lots and lots of money trying every brand available until someone suggested the ultimate treatment Many may not like this but I now use frontline spray for pets. It is a one off treatment (for really little kids I spray onto a glove then massage it in) It works on a ten week cycle so by the time the new eggs hatch they die off as well and the cycle is broken. I mentioned this to my chemist and he was horrified which is what I expected and mentioned many things that could go wrong. I did take this on board but I also use this on my animals, have done for years and they are fine. It is not like I am using it every week, if unlucky I have to use it once a year compared to every bl***dy months with the other treatments. Everybody to their own and I have sonce heard of a couple of vets that use it on their children so it cant be that bad. Shite if it works why not.

Katie - posted on 10/08/2010

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OMG you poor thing!!! I have been battling nits for almost a year now, not because i cant be bothered to treat my 2 girls, im almost obsessive about it ( yes that makes 3 girls including me all with long hair!!) but because I was told that it is now against the law for teachers at school to check the kids for headlice ( as its a invasion of privacy) , this means no matter how many hours,and theres alot, how many tears and tantrums and how many hundreds of dollars i spend on medicated shampoos to get rid of these little F'ers as soon as they go back to school they get them again. I remember when i was at school and the teachers would check our hair, if we had them then a note was spent home and we werent allowed back until they were gone, usually end up with having a day off from school but back the next day, i could count the number of times i had nits my entire time at school on one hand. Now its a advisory note in the newsletter that children should be checked but thats it...

on a side note: rather than making her smell like vinegar or mayo, just use conditioner, use alot more than normal and then comb her hair, it makes it alot easier to comb out the nits and it loosens the hold that the eggs have on the hair.. that and its like a deep conditioning treatment to her hair after having using all the chemicals and such from the Nit treatments =) hope this helps

Sneaky - posted on 10/08/2010

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The information flier that my daughter's pre-school sent home said that they have no preference for clean or dirty hair, long or short . . basically we are all screwed unless we shave their heads :o)

However, the pre-school director also sent home her secret head lice preventative (I know it won't help now, but it may stop it happening again!) - five drops eucalyptus oil, five drops lavender oil and five drops tea tree oil shaken up in about 50-60ml water (I think that is about 2oz in American speak) and sprayed on the hair each morning before school. It's worked for us so far and it smells nice! Hope this helps :o)

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Sam - posted on 12/06/2013

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I Have a un-related but yet similar problem I am currently having, After many hours of tears and hard work going through my 3 year olds hair she would return to school the next morning only to find that she would catch them yet again of the other children.. Worse thing of all, despite all the money spent on Headrin and effort of having her spend hours in the bath most nights.. the teacher actually phoned to express concern that my daughter was the child with the head lice and had actually also reported it to social services who then came out making me feel awful for something that really was out of my control.. Now the bit that's really upset me the most, I'm pretty sure its against the law to go through a child's hair without the parents consent/approval?? Not to mention the fact she discriminated against my child and not taking into consideration that it may have been other children causing the infestation at the school. My child's scalp is slightly flaky like her father of which is extremely common, but this was what the teacher described as "a result of a bad nit outbreak." Its extremely upsetting for me as personal hygiene is something I take very seriously and try to influence as much as I can with my child. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have regarding this matter as I would like to proceed with making a complaint as I do feel I am owed an apology. Mank thanks for any feedback in advance.

Rene - posted on 10/11/2010

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Okay, you MAY laugh at me now, but this weekend, AT MY AGE, I learned something! While picking those nits out of both my daughters' hair, I suddenly put 2 and 2 together, and realized where the phrase "nit-picking" came from. AND, in my mother tongue we have a saying (roughly translated): "you look like a lice on a fine-toothed comb" - meaning you look uptight. I never quite connected these dots until this weekend!!!

We spent a total of 12 hours this weekend nit-picking and washing and combing and heat-treating pillows and toys, etc etc. I HATED IT! But I found something to make me feel better: every nit I found, I pulled the entire hair out, and burnt the little F'ker in a candle! What a nice popping sound it made. :) And my 2 daughters went to school this morning as clean as whistles. Of course they didn't look that clean, since I drenched their hair in Tea Tree Oil. Smells great, but looks super greasy! Those pony tails stood as straight and solid as a piece of clay. But I will EAT any lice that can survive all that grease!

Lisa - posted on 10/09/2010

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put tea tree oil in every new bottle of shampoo you buy, a couple of drops..it smells and keeps them away.

Jerosha - posted on 10/09/2010

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Also I only change her linen. I have spent hours resurching the net and the lice need the heat and blood supply of a human. They cannt live of our heads for more than 45mins and they CANNT JUMP, the kids have to have there hair entangled with another to get them. So tie long hair back - Braid it! cover it in hairspray! and use spray in leave in conditioner. there is no need to wash everything but you do need to treat the whole house hold to break the cycle. and then if you dont know where they are comming from do it every 8 weeks unless there is another infestation. Expect it to take a good 10 days to clear the infestation. I have spent in excess of Aus $250 in six months on the suckers for treating my 1 daughter and myself. FYI she had also given them to her father - in his beard so he reinfected her the 1st few times but now we know I treat his beard too!

Jerosha - posted on 10/09/2010

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Angela as a mother who personally suffered heaps as a child and had my head almost shaved to beat them and then has a daughter who has suffered them 10times so far this year! I can honsty assure you, as have half the other mums, that clean hair is the attraction.
I will only wash her hair on the days she doesnt go to care and so that I dont have to treat her hair every day I buy cheap conditioner and have a small hair straightener. As soon as she gets home from Kinda I straighten her hair ( its long, below her sholders) as this frys the suckers(!) thereby killing them and there eggs and then I put conditioner in it (so it wont dry out). I leave the conditioner in for and hour or so and then rise that out in her bath. I beleive that the conditioner helps give the hair a oily feel that makes it harder to climb as well. I know from my experince that this will soon pass so we will only have to keep it up from a little while. I have also worked out which kid it is and have ensured that next year they will go to different schools but I am sure that there will be another kid who brings them in. Hope this helps..... I must go scratch my head it is itchy just thinking about it!

Amina - posted on 10/09/2010

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its nothing to be embarrased of kids get haed lice when they end up mixing with other kids who has lice. its easy to get rid of use tea tree oil mix with conditioner masage in to the hair leave it for fmax half an hour then take a very fine line comb u find in tesco any shops combed till u see head lice coming out use tisue to see them my kids used to have them now they dont, just follow this tips and u will be nit free zone

Amanda - posted on 10/09/2010

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How to deal with lice, first off stop doing all natural ways to get rid of them (these methods are only semi good for keeping lice away and almost completely useless for removing lice out of a home).

2. There are plenty of safe shampoos to use on children now. Ie Zap, Results.

3. You must do at least 2 treatments within 7 days of eachother (If you do not do this unhatched eggs will hatch and you are back where you started). Everyone in the house needs to be treated! Doing only one person doesnt slove the problem.

Wash/Dry (dryer is good enough for killing lice), all pillows sheets, blankets, stuff toys, clothes, jackets, hats, hair assories, combs, brushs.

Eggs need to be picked out, most drug stores sell METAL combs for this (in all my years of dealing with lice and its been a lot thanks to my oldest daugther having thick brown hair). Vingar is good for loosening nits, but will BURN your kids bites. Mayo also works (but i dont like to waste good mayo on hair). Hair conditioner also works!

Julie - posted on 10/09/2010

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My sister-in law took her kids to a day spa to have them de loused and then had a cleaning company come in and treat her house....ahhhhh the lifestyles of the other half! We luckyily have escaped the lice thing... knock wood! it could be because they use an organic shampoo that has teatree oil in it????

Isobel - posted on 10/09/2010

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Interesting about the new lice laws...I am the head of the lice ladies at my kids' school, and I have a group of about 10 volunteers that do the checks with me...we don't send kids home anymore (or remove them from the classroom which freaks a lot of people out)...but we definitely still check and send letters with treatment info to the parents.



Our school has no nurse, but we pay the 'lice squad' to come in and do the checks with us.



Good luck with your issues, they can be a pain in the arse...don't forget to either put all the toys with hair or fur into a garbage bag for 2 weeks or into the dryer on high for 2 hours.

Paula - posted on 10/09/2010

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Yes they are a pain. I keep both my boys hair very short so that they are easy 2 get rid of. I find that my little girls hair is the hardest 2 keep nitt free as her hair is long & it takes a lot longer 2 go through her hair. I find that baby oil helps 2 get the eggs out alot easier.

Janet - posted on 10/08/2010

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I understand how you feel. It seemed my daughters were always the "lice magnet," they never had any problems here at home, but it seemed the ONE CHILD in school that would bring them in to the class could be sitting across the room, exiled from the rest of the kids, and my child would still end up with them every time. OHHH I was so frustrated, would go and complain and constantly in the school trying to get this under control in the class room.

It seems gross, but I am glad you didn't get embarrassed. Most people over react. It happens in every school, it can happen to everyone. And you just have to take care of it, and teach your child to be more careful, not trading combs, wearing each other hats, DON'T HUG others... that kind of stuff.

Here in our state, they are not doing head checks anymore, if you suspect, you are not allowed to pull the child aside and check, and they do not alert the parents anymore either, they think it isn't transferable to other kids as commonly as they thought... I told them they are full of CRAP!

I was so frustrated and Lice does not respond to the medicine anymore. So you have to do "home remedies," which cause your child's hair to look greasy for days, sometimes weeks depending on child's hair... Trust me doesn't matter how many times you try to wash their hair, even with Dawn Dish soap, it still takes forever to get the OIL out of their hair.

Then you have to treat EVERYTHING. Put all pillows in the dryer on the highest heat, put all stuffed animals in trash bags for two weeks, to keep kids away from possibility of eggs hatching and moving onto your child. Spray the beds, vacuum everything, and then do it all again a few weeks later when someone else's child comes to school the same situation...

User - posted on 10/08/2010

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Ugh! LICE!!! My daughter caught lice right before she turned two. She caught it from a little girl whom I babysat at the time. Let me tell you somethin, I wanted to cry! She has such long pretty curly hair, I was afraid I was gonna have to cut it! Took me a while to get rid of it, but I did! I got this stuff, kind of like a mousse, leave it in for 10 minutes, no pesticides, smell or fumes. It can be used every day.

Iridescent - posted on 10/08/2010

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It actually is illegal in some states in the US, and is only supposed to ever be done by the school nurse or trained staff. In the UK, it must be done by the school nurse.

Kate CP - posted on 10/08/2010

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Katie: Are you in the UK or the US? I haven't heard or seen anything to say that it's illegal for a teacher to check a child's head for lice.

Rene: The best way to get rid of lice is to forgo the natural treatments and use something with pyrethrums in it. I only had to treat my daughter one time for it a few months back because we treated EVERYTHING. They make an upholstery spray that we sprayed the mattresses, couches, carpets, toys, and car seats with. We washed all the linens and clothing in hot, hot water and treated her with RID just the one time. The best way to do it is to run the comb through the hair while the shampoo/conditioner treatment is on her head and then let it set for the alloted time. Good luck! Those bastards are a pain in the butt. :(

Rene - posted on 10/08/2010

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Tomorrow morning, then, I will be rinsing her hair in vinegar and pulling off the nits. If the vinegar doesn't help, I will try the mayo. If the mayo doesn't work, it's that designer comb again ... But if I find one more nit on her hair by tomorrow night, it will be me & her & a razor blade!!! Besides, she is such a little nerd, she can do with a funky new hairstyle.

Angela - posted on 10/08/2010

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That's good news, as I've always thought the nit comb was one of the worst instruments of torture I have ever seen. There is a spray on one, I'm not sure if it's prevention or cure, on ads over here, that seems really good and does not require combing, but I bet that's a fortune. Hold on....
I lied, they both require combing with the "included comb" therefore, you can guarantee it's the torture tool again! Darned Lice! There has to be something, I'm shaving the kids heads tonight whilst they sleep, just in case.....

Rene - posted on 10/08/2010

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You've got a point. Let me have some more wine and think about the flies ... Okay, so the flies are not an option. So I guess I'm back to square one: combing and gelling and spraying etc etc.

Seriously now: we pretty much have the same products everyone mentioned. The most popular and most effective (everyone says) is a Tea Tree Oil pack - gel, shampoo and spray. We started with it last night, and the instructions say treatment should continue for 7 days. It's gonna be a LONG 7 days. After 30 minutes of combing and pulling those nits off her hair, she was crying non-stop. Then we still had to wash and comb again. I'm really going to try and avoid this in future. I've also heard from other moms at school that rinsing their hair with vinegar once a week will definitely avoid head lice.

Angela - posted on 10/08/2010

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Eek, it will certainly do something Rene. The Tea Tree oil sounds good. However, what does everyone use there? Here in the UK, we have a buffet of marvellous head lice attacking stuff from pharmacies nation wide. Our permanently damp but semi tepid climate is perfect for all walks of critters, hence head lice is a big problem here. Now, so far, I thank my lucky stars that I've managed to avoid it with my kids, but as I say, it's only a matter of time.
Not sure what leaving your hair to go filthy does, repel the headlice, attract the flies? I will ask my husband :P he should know! lol.

Rene - posted on 10/08/2010

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hmmmm. Interesting! Thanks Angela, I've taken your advice on the wine-thing, and that seemed to have solved half the problem already! LOL.
Now, I'm considering the clean vs dirty option. What if I just didn't bath or wash her hair for the next 2 weeks? Won't the little F'kers just take a hike? It sure seems like a much better option than the alternative: the hours of combing and gelling and washing and spraying and pulling eggs off every hair follicle. We're in South Africa, in the bushveld region, where temperatures soar well above 37 degrees Celsius (that's 99 degrees Farenheit), so I am convinced 2 weeks of avoiding soap and water should do the trick!

Angela - posted on 10/08/2010

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P.s it's clean hair they love, sadly, as this is where you disturb the skin cells close to the skin, that's what they like to feed on, the rancid things. In dirty or greasy hair, the skin flakes aren't raised enough and they can't get a good grasp on the hair. So dirty people, like my hubby who thinks once a week is a fine time to shower, will be fine, we clean folk who think they are rancid, well, the dirties are laughing at us!

Angela - posted on 10/08/2010

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I am so not looking forward to the inevitable day I get that, so far, I've had a letter saying to check for them, but he hasn't had them, but now I have two, one will be at nursery, the other at school, I haven't a hope. I had them as a kid - my oldest, who is getting more vile as he gets older, is dying to have some as he says they are cute!
How horrid!! Lol.
I know what you mean as well about the pointlessness of treating then knowing they will get it back very shortly. Time for you to open the wine methinks. xxx

Leanne - posted on 10/08/2010

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when you do the washing of everything put in a cap full of Tea tree oil, that is what my health nurse told me to do and wash everything in hot water. Somehting baout the tree oil that kills them, you can also use it on their hair as a shampoo if you dont want to use chemical shampoo's.

Iridescent - posted on 10/08/2010

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They very much prefer clean hair. My sister informed me "African Americans don't get lice" and I thought she was full of it! I looked into it and while they CAN, they get them much less as they often have baby oil in their hair. It makes it hard for the lice to attach or to get blood, coats them and kills them. Same can be said for natural oil (dirty) hair.

Lice is no longer considered an epidemic issue as it does not pass infections as previously believed. So schools no longer send notes home in most areas! Parents are expected to be vigilant and check their children, and always assume there are lice in other children's hair. It's frustrating. One example of many with the new policies in place - http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discon...

A few things can get rid of them once they're there. The medicated shampoos and combs. Olive oil (google it - Harvard study). Shaving the head. Do not use flammable things as some suggest - my sister nearly dunked her daughter's head in kerosene. You may as well shave the head if you go that route, as it wrecks the hair along with killing the lice. To prevent them in the future... My sister now sprays listerine in a spray bottle on her daughter's head (her other child has baby oil in his hair daily, as he's African American and it's cultural). Arbonne makes a tea tree oil shampoo, and tea tree oil sprayed on from a spray bottle is also said to be effective.

Jackie - posted on 10/08/2010

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HI Rene! They LOVE clean hair. The reason being is because they have a hard time laying eggs or 'nits' on dirty or greasy hair. If you notice... black people typically do not get head lice because of the products they put in their hair.

I have had lots of experience with the little F'ers. When I was a kid, all I had to do was be in the same state (or so it seemed) with somebody that had it and I was DOOMED! What a pain in the ass!

Be very diligent in getting through all of the hair follicles. Bed sheets, carpets, stuffed animals, EVERYTHING! Check the other family members including yourself as well as to not transmitting the bastards back and forth. Good luck and be patient!

Rene - posted on 10/08/2010

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Oh, and can anyone tell me: do these creatures prefer clean hair or dirty hair?

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