One of my most embarrassing moments was when my hairdresser whispered in my ear that I had head lice. It was 25 years ago and I still shudder thinking about it!
She suggested the carrier was my young son and he was. Sharing your hairbrush with someone with lice is not a good idea. That wasn’t the first time we battled the little bugs. I learned that children share hats, combs and bugs.
Once I got over the shock, it was time to treat both of us.
If you find head lice on your child, check everyone in the household. These buggers spread easily. In addition to treating the head, be sure to wash all clothing, bedding and linens the affected person(s) used in the two days prior to treatment in hot water. If something isn’t washable, seal it in a plastic bag for two weeks. Yes it takes that long to starve them.
You should also soak hair accessories in hot water for 10 minutes. Then vacuum the home wherever the child (or you) may have lain such as couches and floors.
There are over the counter treatments for head lice which is what we used. After the treatment, it’s necessary to go through the hair with a special comb that will get the eggs, called nits, that stick to the hair. I know, gross!
This always worked for us but if live lice are seen afterwards, seek medical advice. You don’t want to overdose your child with insecticide.
Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet so I wasn’t able to research alternatives to traditional medicine. It seems that olive oil and vinegar are good tools for fighting lice. Instead of putting insecticide shampoo on the head, cover it with olive oil and plastic for two hours. This smothers the lice.
Then treat the hair with vinegar to kill the nits. Use a nit comb to remove them from the hair. You can always try medication if this doesn’t work.
You learn a lot raising kids including that head lice isn’t limited by socio-economic boundaries or just something that happens to other people. Next time, I might tell you what we learned about ticks.