Creepy Crawlies

With the start of the school year comes all those dreaded things we loath about school. The mountains of forms to fill out, the homework we know is gonna end in tears, the bully that often rears his or her head early in the term and those nasty little buggers…. Head Lice.

Don’t you just hate it when the letter comes home from school that a child in your child’s class has head lice. Of course by the time the letter makes it home, if it hasn’t been buried in the back pack for a day or two, there’s several kids with head lice and your world is turned upside down because your household is included. ARRGGGHHHH.

What’s your first reaction, panic, fear, repulsion, shame?
You can relax in the knowledge that you have been especially chosen because your child’s hair is so clean 🙂 You’re kid isn’t the smelly kid.

Doesn’t help does it.

There’s no need to panic, it can be fixed and quite cheaply.

As a kid I managed to go unscathed right through school. There were always the kids with NITS but I never got them. It was totally good fortune, not good management so you can imagine my horror to be a 35 year old, 8 month pregnant woman and be told I have head lice!
I got them from Grand Master D, who in turn got them from the squeaky clean kid at kindy. This was my first experience and I was mortified. As if I needed that, being so heavily pregnant and treating a 3 year old’s head. The King, lucky for him, was travelling at the time, of course.

I was fortunate to have a friend who by default had become very experienced at getting rid of them. Of course the biggest challenge was that my flaming red hair is exactly the same colour as the eggs the little buggers lay.
She taught me the most effective way to get rid of them is time and continuous monitoring for 7-10days.
NO expensive pharmacy products are required. Any cheap store bought conditioner will stun the live ones enough to get them out of the head. Just slather the head with conditioner for 20 mins to stun them, then comb with a lice comb. Rinse the conditioner out, they will all be dead in the bottom of the tub. Then the hard work begins with the combing and combing and combing for hours with the especially designed head lice comb. Small sections at a time.
There are many combs on the market and they range in price. I’ve used a simple plastic one and a metal set. Both were equally good.

You can usually get rid of the live ones in one sitting, the key then is to continue to check every night to make sure no new ones have hatched and remove all the eggs as you go. I have never needed to boil bedding or treat linens in any special way. Head lice need a host, without one they cannot live for very long, so if they are in the bedding just change it and wash normally.

The most important part is to check each day to avoid any hatching eggs causing re-infestation.

Once you are lice free, you can prevent re-infestation by using teatree oil products. There are shampoos on the market that work well but I have always gone for the simple effective preventative spritz.

Get a small spray bottle and put several drops of pure teatree oil in and fill with water, shake it up then spray the child’s head each morning before leaving the house. You can use the same mixture until it’s gone. Be sure to treat the nape of neck and behind the ears, as this is a favourite hiding place for lice.

Remind your children not to get too close to others and never share hats or brushes.

We have only ever had 2 infestations, one for each child. Miss Gremlin’s was a little more painful because she has such thick hair but we just work vigilantly each night for 10 days and have never had them again.

I was NOT scratching uncontrollably for the entire time while writing this post….. Ok, I totally was. Just the thought of them makes me itch. 

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