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Lice? (not a Pandas ?)


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Sorry for the non-Pandas post, but I need the experience of moms on this one, not just some internet searches.

 

I just picked up my DD from school and while I was waiting for her, my friend came to pick up her DD, who sits right next to my daughter in class. My friend says "when you get home, check your daughter's head. My daughter has lice"

 

Yikes! Apparently her ex saw the girl scratching the back of her head madly and found the lice over the weekend. He started "treatment" yesterday (not sure what that consists of - some sort of medication that smells nasty and bleaching sheets is all I got from the mom). The mom, who has joint custody and was picking up her daughter for the first time since the discovery, couldn't tell me much more.

 

As I said, my daughter sits right next to this girl and like most girls, not particularly aware of personal space - lots of touching and close-in whispering and sharing of items.

 

So...for those who've been down this path...what do I do? Can I pre-emptively shampoo her hair and use some lice treatment? Do I need to wait until she starts scratching? If I'm going to need to bleach sheets, should I put on white sheets before tonight? Don't feel like ruining the green ones that are on the bed right now. How do I protect the rest of us? Can a dog get lice? Do they get in carpets? Aye yie yie...

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I've got one more tip to add (three boys means at least one case of lice every year, bleh). One year we bought an electronic lice comb. Marvelous invention! Doesn't pick out nits, but zaps anything al

Hi- and sorry, not a great way to start the year.

 

One year when we lived in DC, everyone in my daughter's class had lice, except for her! The lice continued for months and months and months.

 

This is what we did:

 

lice like clean hair. We would wash hair once or twice a week max. I would put leave in conditioner in after washing (they do not like substances on the hair). My dd wore her hair in a braided ponytail every single day.

 

The worst part was playdates- we really limited them at that time :( Everyone was suspect. I think playdates and sleepovers were the biggest culprits in spreading lice.

 

The issue with lice is that they are hard to get rid of. They lay eggs in the hair, which are very, very hard to see, and they hatch in a couple of weeks, starting the cycle over. I would take the above precautions for the time of a couple of cycles.

 

From what I have seen, the parents who are not serious about getting rid of the lice- end up spreading it, and taking more time.

 

I was honest with my dd, told her it stinks to have to do this- but the alternative of getting lice is just more of a pain.

 

Yuck- mine are both in middle school, hope the lice days are over.

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I would buy a LiceMD kit from the local drug store, and use the comb to inspect your daughter's hair carefully. If you see nits (eggs attached to the hair, like a tiny grain of rice) or a critter, then you need to consider that the lice are in your house which might be a bigger job for you. If you find nothing, you can treat your daughter anyway as a precaution -- the LiceMD stuff is silicone based, not too stinky, and suffocates the lice.

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My son had lice the year he got really sick. I sometimes wondered if they contributed to his illness in any way. I even brought it up to his doctor last week and it's 2.5 years later, that's how much i recall making the association. I say this only so you can watch your child for any symptom exacerbation or changes.

 

I used RID shampoo as i didn't know much then. I believe its a pesticide and pretty toxic. Now I wonder if it added to his toxic load given he has a genetic detox issue. There are much more natural ways to treat lice so they are worth looking into.

 

Fairytale shampoo is a non-toxic and pesticide free treatment. I actually worked hair by hair for hours in the sunlight with reading glasses on to remove every nit (there were over a hundred and they were a bit hard to see). I did this for a few days because I would always find more. It was helpful he had somewhat short hair.

 

The biggest problem is that the carriers parents never treated the lice properly and it went around the class for the entire year and some of the next. Perhaps it was in the home.

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OK, I have been down this road a few times, at least with three with DD10 who has long thick hair and is a big fan of slumber parties (where lice like to party too).

 

First there are a number of good options for preventing and some good ways to treat.

Buy a bottle (amazon) of Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Leave-In Conditioning Spray 8oz. A friend's daughter uses Coconut conditioner and shampoo and that seems to work too.

But I know the fairy tale stuff is good (smells odd and I think they have lavender too now). Spray it in your daughter's hair everyday.

 

Treating:

I generally do the "pantene" method (described below), but this last time I also used this spray and I was amazed that it worked (non-toxic smells like licorice).

Licefreee Spray, Instant Head Lice Treatment Spray Bottle With Metal Comb, 6-Ounce - extra bonus is that it was sold at Walgreens!

 

Pantene Method:

What you will need:

Pantene (or thick conditioner), Comb, Clear bowl with water and a little vinegar, seran wrap

 

Saturate DRY hair with pantene or thick conditioner.

Wrap hair in seran wrap.

Let them sit like this for an hour

Using a wide comb and then a fine NIT Comb - like "Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb, Professional Stainless Steel Louse and Nit Comb"

Comb through all the hair, wiping periodically on a paper towel and rinsing in your water bowl (this helps you see if anything was in there)

Once it is all combed through wash and dry hair with hair dryer (they don't like the air)

Flat Ironing hair is an additional step that helps make sure bugs/eggs are removed.

 

The lice cycle is 7-10 days so you will need to check periodically to make sure nothing hatched between treatments (I usually do every other day until her head is clean and then I keep checking.

 

Bedding, etc:

The lice cannot live more than 24-48 hours off a head, but tossing everything in a dryer (no bleach necessary) will do the trick (bag anything that cannot be washed or dried for 1-2 weeks).

 

The most important is to be vigilant and keep re-checking. If another parent doesn't re-check then it will just go around and around. But the spray and making sure your child is clean is most important.

 

I've seen girls share a bed at a sleepover and the one with spray repellent was still clean.

 

PM if you need more of a walk through. My best friend is a fan of the olive oil plan, but that involves sleeping in a cap that my DD doesn't like. She does LOVE the flat iron part of the procedure ; )

 

To those with access to a prescription pad through a friend, there is a prescription creme that works in 10 minutes.

 

T.Anna

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No experience but the preemptive non toxic ideas above sounds like a good idea. In our school district, kids with nits are not allowed in school. I think your daughters friend should have waited 24 hrs after treatment to return.

Yeah - me too! I about died when the mom told me they only started treating yesterday! I guess I'm glad she at least bothered to tell me. If I hadn't bumped into her and if we hadn't been friends, I'd never have had the heads up.

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Uhh, yeah, I'd be livid.

I've got nothing to add on treating lice,

seems the universe knows this will be the

thing that finally does me in for good.

I have a terror of it. I'd need hefty Valium. Meanwhile I'll look for fairytale products (2 young girls here.)

Thanks for the info.

Sending PV's and good spells LLM----

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I haven't read through all the posts. I do agree with the first one--vigilance is a must. There is a reason the "nit-picking" saying came to be! I really think the lice shampoo was about a waste of time. My sister did lots of conditioner on her son--he would go to bed with it on in a bonnet and then rinse it out. He seemed to get cleared quite quickly. I became an expert at picking through every inch of two of my kids' scalp. Night after night. I would swear I had found the very last nit --and dang!! Evidence of another. Hopefully, your daughter won't get them. It was a few weeks out of our lives I don't want to do again. Glad we kept at it!!

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Oh have I been there done that!! 2 summers are ago all 6 ofus had it and it was a nightmare! After spending way too much money on all kinds of shampoos and insecticides I finally broke down and called a professional lice picker. (Gasp) she was a lifesaver!! I will never buy a lice kit again.

 

I can email you the calendar she gave me if you pm me. She gave me all the directions and a calendar of what to do on which nights. After a while month of accomplishing nothing, she ride our lives if lice in a matter if 10 days.

 

For starters, use either olive oil or a cheap conditioner and thoroughly coat the head. She used a spray olive oil from stop n shop but time me she uses conditioner in her own home. Put a shower cap on and leave on for 8 hours. This immobilizes and eventually suffocates the live lice. They're the easy part. The hard part is the eggs, or knits. You MUST but a high quality metal lice comb. We have the lice meister. The plastic ones that come with kits are useless. The good ones cost $15 or so but are worth their weight in gold Next comb out the entire head. You will comb everyday, on dry hair for a week or so after. You wash all the bedding and throw a sheet over the couch or wherever kids sit. Every night when they go to bed toas the sheets into high heat dryer.

 

I can give you more details if you need but please know that the lice are now immune to our pesticides. Its not worth making our kids sick.

 

I don't envy you! Happy combing.

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This an expensive last resort, but there is a professional in our area called the Lice Lady who rids you and your family of lice in one sitting and then sends you off with a lice fighting conditioner. There may be one in your area i you become desperate and cant get rid of the lice. To be sure, lice is a completely do-it-yourself thing to eradicate, but if it gets really hard to get rid of the nits, thats a solution that I had to use once. It's not like I haven't money on other wasteful things, such as IVIG (dark humor here)....

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