Blogging Baby size six: essentials for surviving head lice

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Day Care & Education

In my quest to become the Queen Of Lice at Blogging Baby I realized I get a lot of email about Lice when parents get that dreaded letter home. The letter which says, "You're about to plummet into the depths of obsession and despair. Your child has lice, good luck!" 

I thought it might be helpful to put up my best tips for surviving an enounter with those horrifying bugs.

  • Alcohol or Other Controlled Substance. I'd suggest you get yourself a giant bottle of bourbon. If you're not a drinker, you will be by the time this is over.
  • Lice Treatment: On your way back from the liquor store, stop at the drugstore. There are several products for this and varying opinions about their risks and/or effectiveness. I'm going to tell you what I think worked best for us, we tried five different things and still found live bugs on my daughter's head. Two chemicals the rest 'natural' (that mayonnaise on my daughter's hair in the picture). I think the homeopathic product Lice Freee! worked the best.
  • Metal Comb and Bright Light. Treating your child's head is only step one. Thank goodness because then that would be all the fun you'd get to have! You need a metal comb, bright light and some hair clips to hold the hair up as you look for teeny tiny nits on your child's hair. This part is so much fun, go grab that bottle of bourbon.
  • Laundry Detergent. Now get ready for laundry! Lots of laundry. You're going to need to strip all the beds in the house and vacuum all the mattresses. After my daughter's lice situation was under control I just changed her pillow cover and pillow case each day until I was sure the lice were gone.
  • Garbage Bags. Grab garbage bags and fill them up with stuffed animals and any throw rugs. If it's cold you can just leave them outside to freeze those annoying bugs. I'm not sure this step is exactly necessary, lice don't jump and can't survive long without a human host. But honestly, why not use this time to rid your house of some clutter! Also, it's very important to get rid of or boil or freeze any hats and other things which touch people's heads. I threw out all our brushes just to be safe but I boiled all our combs and barrette's.
  • Tea Tree Oil and Rosemary Sprig. I got a lot of advice when my daughter had a terrible head lice infestation. One thing that came up often was using Tea Tree Oil on your child's head to prevent another outbreak. The bugs don't like this substance, rosemary either. So about once a week I use the Tea Tree Oil shampoo on my kid's heads. During the winter I cut a sprig off my rosemary plant and stick it in my daughter's backpack, where she also keeps her hat when it's not on her head. It's possible this doesn't do a thing but I'm paranoid. If someone told me writing 'Go Away Lice' in black Sharpie on my daughters face would make the lice feel unwelcome, I'd do it.

Remember, I'm only sharing my experience and what worked for me. It's a good idea to talk to your doctor or nurse for professional advice. But believe me they won't tell you about the bourbon, and you need the bourbon.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.