Wednesday, March 26, 2008
During Spring Break, I discovered my daughter had lice. My mom was babysitting for me and found some bugs in my daughter's hair. It's absolutely horrifying and disgusting! I immediately treated the entire household-my daughter, my son and me.
I had first treated my family with NIX. An over-the-counter product you can buy at the drug store. I was ignorant and didn't do my homework. You don't want those kinds of chemicals penetrating your childrens' heads-especially since more than one application is usually necessary. My sister gave me some all-natural products called LiceKiller.
I'm 35 years old and never had lice-so I thought...I'm still not convinced I actually have it. I mean, I don't itch and I've not seen anything in my hair. But my sister checked out my scalp and believes she found some eggs. (Half of those infected by lice don't itch and if you have eggs, you have lice).
Battling lice is no fun and it's not easy. But if you don't do it right the first time, re-infestation is almost guaranteed. The key is getting rid of the eggs. This requires hours and hours of combing the hair with a special, fine tooth comb.
I didn't want to take any chances, I've also bagged up most of the pillows and stuffed animals in my house and set them in the garage for at least 7 days. I'm vacuuming more often and washing the bedding every day. I've treated everyone with the LiceKiller. Plus, because I'm not able to comb out my own hair, I'm soaking my hair in olive oil and wearing a shower cap to bed for at least 3 days in a row. The oil is supposedly suffocating any unhatched eggs. I'll do one more of the LiceKiller treatment at the end of the week just in case any of the lice survived. I've not seen any more eggs in my daughter's hair and I never found any in my son's hair. I'm hopeful the treatments will be complete this weekend and I can start saving on my water and gas bill!
If you suspect your child has lice-take action immediately!!! Wash everything, spray everything, treat with LiceKiller and comb, comb, comb!!! And please tell everyone! It is horrid and though it may be embarrassing, lice invest and the fastest way to spread lice is being silent.
THE FACTS OF LICE:
-Anyone can get lice-it has absolutely nothing to do with cleanliness or economic status
-Classic symptoms include constant itching and vigorous scratching
-Life expediency of a louse is from 3 to 6 weeks. The adult louse feeds about 5 times a day by piercing the skin with its claws, injecting saliva, and sucking blood. The life cycle of the head louse has three stages: egg.nit, nymph and adult. During their lifetime, a female louse can lay up to 150 eggs at a rate of about 6-8 per day. Head lice are oval in shape and classic coloration is yellow to white, but lice do turn a reddish color when feeding. They prefer to hide within 1/2 inch of the scalp on the hair shaft.
-The female will lay eggs on any fibrous material or hair and the eggs/nits will hatch within 7 to 11 days. If you see eggs, you have lice. The newly hatched nymph takes 8-9 days to become and adult; the age at which a female starts laying eggs. An adult female can crawl 3 feet per hour. The eggs can survive between 4 to 10 days of of a host, virtually anywhere in your immediate environment, but once hatched the nymph must feed on a human host in 24 to 48 hours, or they will die.
-Mature lice are tan to grayish white in color; the darker the hair, the darker the lice will appear. Eggs and nymphs can be translucent or clear in color. Adult lice have six legs and are about the size of a sesame seed.
-Lice cannot jump or fly, they simply crawl or fall off the hair to move or get away from danger. Their claw-like hooks on the end of each leg help the lice to stay attached to your hair or in your environment. Lice prefer hiding in your hair at the base of your neck and around your ears. (The best place to apply lice repellent!)