Thursday, October 1, 2009

How To Ward Off Lice.

Okay it's that wonderful time of year when I open up the girl's backpacks to find the notice that I despise. Lice is in the school. Then my daughter informs me they did a head check at school. Reflexively I begin scratching my head. The mere thought of them makes me feel ill and itchy all over. My girls have very long hair so if they ever got lice it would be a huge pain in the you know what. Not to mention they would totally freak out. So what can I do to keep those little critters away from my girls hair? Well a few years ago I spoke to my pediatrician about it because the note came home and I panicked. I thought if I treated her hair with the anti-lice shampoo they sell at CVS that would prevent the lice from infecting my girl's hair. They told me immediately not to do that if she didn't have lice because if she did come down with it the shampoo would not be as affective and it would be much harder to rid her of it. So this left me with the question of what I could do to prevent lice. Well they had a few syggestions for me. First off contrary to popular belief lice do not like dirty heads. They told me to load her head with hair spray, mousse or gel. Also to keep her hair in pig tails or braids and not to let it hang down and loose. Lice is spread from head to head touching or if things like hats and combs are shared. Okay so my children left for school today with the youngest one sporting a tight braid sprayed heavily with hair spray and the older one with mousse on the top and then a pony tail sprayed heavily with hair spray. Then I gave them a quick talk on not touching any one's head and not putting on a hat or using anyone's comb. Okay fingers crossed they don't get it. I have done everything I can think of to prevent it so hopefully all will be well.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lice are horrible that is for sure. I had them when I was a kid and to this day remember it. It wasn't much fun. Reminding the kids about it is great. I never heard about the hair spray.
Great to know. Thanks!

thegreenability said...

I like the braid and the mouse idea, but hair spray, I hope you'll reconsider that one because of it's environmental effect. pardon for sounding a bit preachy though.

There's a special toothed comb used to effectively take out the lice. I have my daughter wash her hair right after school and she uses this special comb. It takes out not only the tangles but also louse or lice if ever she gets one or two in her hair during the day. You can see the lice get trapped in the comb' s teeth and simply quash it out of its miserable existence. Hope this helps. Thanks.

www.thegreenability.com

ward off lice treatment said...
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Anonymous said...

@thegreenability: Pardon *me* if I sound "preachy" but you seemed to have missed key information in the original post. I agree that the hair spray idea is highly questionable, both because most brands come in aerosol cans that contain fluorocarbons and are bad for the environment and because they all contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to a child's long-term health. It seems that many people recommend using a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in water to repel lice, though there are no scientific studies to back that up. It seems just as likely to work, if not more so, as tons of hair products, and exposing a kid to one ingredient obviously seems safer. I also thinks it sends the wrong message to tweens to have them relying on loads of "beauty" products for any reason. As to your practice of having your daughter wash her hair right after school and use a nit comb: this will not do anything to prevent lice and it is recommended that you don't wash your child's hair everyday (unless your child is getting is getting food, paint, mud, or other actual *acquired* grime in her hair that regularly - and if that is happening daily by the tween years than a serious review of her common sense and habits may be necessary). Stripping the hair and scalp of natural oils everyday is not good hair or scalp care. "Squeaky clean" is very hard on hair follicles and can lead to breakage, frizz, and tangles as well as drying out one's scalp. Gently brushing dry hair (unless one has curly hair which should only be combed gently when wet - and all hair is more fragile when wet) can help distribute natural oils down the length of the hair (this was the purpose of the old "100 strokes a night" ritual). Every person is different so how often hair needs to be shampooed varies, from every other day to once a week.

Again, it is a myth that lice are caused by "dirty hair" or poor hygiene, and it is harmful to pass on this idea to a child because when someone she knows does get lice (and ALL children are not only susceptible but likely to get lice at least once) your child will not think less of the person, make fun of them, or harbor prejudices. If your child does get lice, the hair is not supposed to be shampooed for 3 days after most treatments; hair should never be treated for lice until they are actually present; treatments should not be repeated more than 3 times - if it is not working you either need to try a different treatment or spend more time sectioning off the hair and systematically removing the very sticky nits (eggs) with those "special combs" and by pulling the nits off one at a time with your fingers as the combs won't get rid of all of them. Please consider the messages that you send to your kids - there is no more shame in getting lice as there is in getting a cold. It is so important to convey to children the fact that human bodies (including hair) are natural and beautiful; that very few "beauty products" are in any way desirable or necessary (though they tend to pile up in adults' bathrooms precisely because the majority of them don't work as advertised - and it is very hard to resist advertising) and should only be used for fun and to pamper ourselves out of self-love and self-care and the goal is to enhance what is already beautiful about ourselves *not* to search for "flaws" to "fix" or change ourselves to fit the unrealistic, unhealthy, fictitious, photoshopped images in the media. Tween girls desperately need constant reinforcement not to negatively and harshly judge themselves and each other because they do and the outcome is so extremely harmful.

Fanchon Pellerin said...

Well I'm glad you posted this, I'm learning natural ways to manage different things and this is great advice ... surely will be sharing it with friends! Visit Lice Fairies

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