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Our family has had a crazy last few months! First there was broken foot bones. A few weeks later was a round of flu symptoms from the Norovirus. Finally, a welcome summer break in with style we’ve been hit with head lice. I know this may sound crazy, but I’m actually surprised that we hadn’t gotten it before since families we know have been hit by it.
I’ve dealt with outbreaks of fleas from our dogs being out and about in the summer. It’s a common thing when you own dogs, but the itchy feeling that you get when you see bugs in your kids hair is something that doesn’t go away right away! I freaked out a little when I saw one, but after the first medicine treatment and hair combing session I felt like a bad mom for not noticing them earlier!
So what are lice?
The head louse is a tiny, wingless parasitic insect that lives among human hairs and feeds on tiny amounts of blood drawn from the scalp. Lice (the plural of louse) are a very common problem, especially for kids. They’re contagious, annoying, and sometimes tough to get rid of.
Here is my #FridayFive list of itchy truths about lice and some great ways to get rid of lice and prevent it in the future.
Ok. Now that I’ve admitted that we have lice, I know what you’re thinking. My kids are dirty little buggers that don’t clean themselves enough. While I know they do have dirt on their knees and sand in their hair from time to time, these are normal types of dirty for a six and four year old. According to KidsHealth.org:
Having head lice is not a sign of dirtiness or poor hygiene. The pesky little bugs can be a problem for kids of all ages and socioeconomic levels, no matter how often they do — or don’t — wash their hair or bathe. It also doesn’t matter how long or short a person’s hair is.
Please don’t feel guilty when it comes to having one of your kids get lice. It’s almost a right of passage for school aged kids. You’re still a good mom even if your kids get this!
It’s a fact of life when your kids are in school that their exposure to things like lice and other flus and colds increase. So how do lice spread and how can I stop them from spreading? KidsHealth.org says:
They spread when people’s heads touch or when they share hats and other clothing, combs, brushes, headbands, barrettes, and bedding (like sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and sleeping bags). If lice are stuck on any of these things and that thing touches another person’s head, that person may also get lice.
After this break out I’m making a no-tolerance policy against sharing any of these items. Some websites say that these types of things won’t pass along the nits and bugs, but I figure eliminating those contacts makes the chances of them spreading even smaller.
I’m still not sure exactly how Bootsie got exposed but clearly there was some kind of contact made.
Priority number one is killing the bugs and nits that are in your kids hair. This step will most likely stop the spread to other people in the house.
The moment I found out that Bootsie had lice I went to the store. I had to ask a clerk where they were, but I had a few choices as to what to buy. I went with a LiceFree brand Treatment Kit. When I looked on Amazon so I could share it with you I couldn’t find the exact kit I bought, but here are the products included in the kit I purchased at our local drugstore:
The first step was to do the Licefreee! Non-Toxic Lice Killing Hair Gel treatment which took about an hour. Bootsie walked around in a shower hat for a while and the little bugs died off. A combing session took about 30 minutes. Every time I thought I’d gotten them all out, I found more. Crazy to see that on your kids hair, but I finally got all the bugs I could see out. Then we washed out the gel.
Since then we’ve been using the Licefreee Everyday Gentle 2 in 1 Conditioning Shampoo which over the next week should keep killing anything that I missed.
Next priority is to clean up the house and make sure nothing spreads to other people. We’ve banned Bootsie from sleeping in our bed for the time being. It’s rough, but exposing her to our sheets and pillows.
Washing things in hot water and drying them in the dryer is the key to killing nits and lice. It took a few loads, but everything got washed.
Going forward I definitely want to prevent this from happening again. I’ve heard of adding essential oils like Radha Beauty Tea Tree Essential Oil to your regular shampoo that can help, but a close friend also suggested the company Fairytales and their prevention sprays.
The directions for the Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Conditioning Spray are simple: Spray throughout damp or dry hair and brush through. Use each day before school, camp or daycare. Spray behind ears, back of neck and top of shoulders for extra protection.
If you need help this summer or this year or in the future, visit my Lice Killing & Prevention Shopping List on Amazon! It includes all the items that are mentioned in this post. Keep checking back for more great lice killing and prevention products in the future!
Do you have any suggestions to add? I’d love to see them! Post a link in the comments!