Headlice Are In Season
Yes, it's that time of year again, as I discovered yesterday. When my grandbaby got dropped off at my house yesterday afternoon she was busy trying to
scratch all of her hair off of her head. A feeling of dread washed over me. I put on my glasses, grabbed a comb and took her outside in the sunlight.
There they were in all their creepy glory- the dreaded head lice!
The rest of the day and night was spent plastering everyone in the house with de-lousing medicine, meticulously nit combing hair, washing all bed
clothes and throw covers, vacuuming, spraying, boiling all combs, brushes, hair doodles, etc. It was every mother and grandmother's nightmare.
As it has been many years since I've had to deal with lice I thought it would be a good idea to bring attention to it. Everyone can be at risk. Yes,
that means you too! So here's a little info:
The bane of many parents, the head louse is a tiny, wingless parasitic insect that lives among human hairs and feeds on extremely small amounts of
blood drawn from the scalp. Although they may sound gross, lice (the plural of louse) are a very common problem, especially for kids ages 3 years to
12 years (girls more often than boys).
Lice aren't dangerous and they don't spread disease, but they are contagious and can just be downright annoying. Their bites may cause a child's scalp
to become itchy and inflamed, and persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation and even infection.
It's wise to treat head lice quickly once the diagnosis is made because they can spread easily from person to person.
The first signs you may notice are scratching of the head and possibly tiny red bites or bumps. If you notice this, the best place to check your
child's head is outside in direct sunlight. You can trust Granny on this one. The eggs (which is what you generally find as the bugs are tricky and
good at hiding) are usually the first thing you will find. The eggs are attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp. Take a comb and part the hair
in numerous places. The best places to look are at the nape, the crown, and in the hair behind the ears. These suckers like to lay their eggs in the
warm spots, but the eggs can be in other places as well. They are hard to see but look close. Dandruff easily slides off the hair but eggs have to be
There are many readily available products for treating lice. Just read the directions well and follow them to the tee. Also, do not trust those little
plastic nit combs that come with most kits; pay a little extra and get the metal comb, most pharmacies have them. They work MUCH better. Here are a
few more things you should do:
Wash all bed clothes, pillows, coats, hats etc. in hot soapy water and dry on hottest dryer setting. If they can't be washed or dry cleaned seal in
plastic and throw them in a closet for a month.
Spray mattresses and fabric upholstered furniture with lice spray. It's usually next to the hair treatment at the store. Don't forget car seats!
Vacuum everything meticulously!
Soak all combs, brushes, hair doodles, etc. in rubbing alcohol and then boil in soapy water. If you can't then throw them away.
Put stuffed toys and dolls in plastic bags and seal. Put them away for a month. If there is a special Wubby you can follow directions for bed clothes
Re-treat and do it all again in a week to ten days. The treatment you buy will tell you exactly when in the instructions. You must be viligant!
While having a lice outbreak can be stressful and very tiring (as well as taxing on your wallet) it can be overcome. The sooner you become aware the
more successful you will be, but beware- re-infestations are common! And please, don't take your aggravation out on the kids- it's not their fault.
It's just one of those things that happen like catching a cold. It has nothing to do with being dirty (in fact lice prefer CLEAN hair).
If I left anything out some good information can be found at several web sites:
edit on 2-11-2012 by littled16 because: (no reason given)