Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lessons from Lice

My eldest child is 15 and this is the first time I've ever had to deal with head lice in my home. I've learned some interesting lessons.

#1 - Being prepared means being prepared for ANYTHING - including ignorant neighbors who allow infested kids to wander the neighborhood!
Fortunately I happened to have tea tree oil and a lice comb. Funny thing was - when I bought the comb I thought "I'm not going to need this, but it's only 49 cents - and you never know"
#2 - Go with your gut. When the kid turned up here an hour before school got out the other day my gut said 'send her home, if she's out of school she doesn't belong here'. Shoulda' listened to my gut. Instead I decided to play nice... dumb idea.
#3 Good neighbors vs bad neighbors. We caught them quickly thanks to our other neighbor who thought we should know since they knew our daughter played with her.
#4 schools suck/privacy rights trump common sense even in a small town- they checked my 14YO but didn't feel compelled to let me know so I could check my 5YO even though they know the kid lives right next door and plays with my daughter.
#5 vigilance and persistence pay off - we caught it quickly, checked the whole family, and followed up every few hours. DD was the only one infected in a house of 6. I've found a few migrants on myself but I think they just escaped while I was cleaning DD. So far so good, but we'll follow up with a few daily washings for her and I using OTC lice shampoo. I'm a firm believer in natural remedies and this one seems to work exceptionally well, but I'm also not a gambler when it comes to infestations. They're too hard to get rid of once they're entrenched and I don't want to have to bomb the whole house (though I may still have to).

Suggestions for anyone interested -

Keep the following in your preps for lice treatment whether you think you're going to have to deal with it or not. Like the flu, when you need it - the store will be sold out because everyone is looking for it at once.
Olive oil (should have this anyway)
Tea Tree oil (also does quite a job on bug bites)
lice combs (plural - they're not very sturdy and we have thick hair, one day of use and the one we have is already getting weak teeth.) They're cheap so keep a few around. You can also use flea combs from the pet store, anything with close-set teeth will work but they need to be very close.
shower caps - so you can allow the hair to soak without having to sit in the tub to keep it contained. Again, they're cheap so have a few around. I didn't before this but you can be sure I will after! Poor kid has spent hours in the tub since yesterday!
OTC lice shampoo - can't find it around here today, everyone's out of stock. I'm going to call and see if I can get a prescription from the pediatrician. I doubt they'll ask to see her.
butterfly hair clips like they use at the hairdressers - dd has long hair and it's a PITA trying to be thorough when I can't pin up what I've already checked. This is something else I don't have in my preps but will be adding.[/list]

No comments: