Last week, we had some unwanted and teeny-tiny menacing visitors that arrived via my third son’s scalp. Yeah, he had lice. So did his best buddy. Amazingly, our household—with many longhaired children over the years—had been spared this bane of school and camp life until last week.
May this never happen in your household, but if it does, I’m offering you a couple of tips so you can avoid a little Internet barrage of so many ideas you can’t sort ‘em out.
There are many methods and products around, and had I known more, I’d have gotten a really good nontoxic “kit” even more quickly. We ordered ClearLice off the web and it seems to have been a good buy. Bonus: the natural lice ridding products smell pepperminty and nice. Before that, we did the pediculicde bomb products straight from the CVS with the parking lot. I might make choices about toxicity based on how many bugs and how many children affected should this ever happen again (please, no).
The single best product is a fantastic comb: Fairy LiceMothers’ MagicWand. I am betting the rest of their stuff is great, too.
The Harvard School for Public Health put together an instructive video From Head Lice to Dead Lice that was funny enough to calm our heebie-jeebies a bit. It was informative enough to be extremely helpful.
You don’t have to stop using pillows: 20 minutes in the dryer at high heat. You will become BFF’s with your washer and dryer.
You do have to be vigilant about washing everything, drying everything, staying off couches, and making sure even your car upholstery has been cleaned and subjected to the vacuum. Translation: this is a labor-intensive business.
The less hair the better: we had a pop-up driveway salon and lice treatment center. Although we got him nit-free quickly, the third boy had to be buzzed later in the week in order to go to overnight camp. The buzz cut solution isn’t the worst idea, though; if you want to spare yourself hours and hours of tedious combing and anxiety, it might be the right choice.
* The image above reflects a “lice prevention haircut”.
Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer, whose work appears in the ebook anthology Welcome to My World, Brain Child Magazine & the Huffington Post, Babble & Bamboo Magazine amongst others. She does some blogging for Teen Life and keeps her own blog—Standing in the Shadows—at the Valley Advocate. She and her dear husband are raising four children and enduring a great deal of chaos in the relatively sleepless process.