Friday, January 21, 2011

Tips For Your Little Toots...

Posted by ToddleToots! at 12:01 AM
Tips For Your Little Toots... LICE! (itch, itch, itch)

I know you're itching because I am too, but here's the thing: this is a REAL issue especially for school age kids who tend to pass these little "guys" around like everything else.  A fellow mom of 3, recently went through this and she has some GREAT TIPS...


I know the pavlovian response that we all have to the mere mention of lice - so go ahead and itch. 

Now that we've gotten that out of the way - I wanted to pass on some REALLY helpful information about this nasty topic. First, it happens to the very best of us. It sucks and has been known to drive this mother to tears and question whether it might just be easier to burn the house down than freakishly clean every crevice of the house. 

This is one topic that 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' and all the other parent preparation books fail to mention. So, while I always have loads of bandaids, neosporin, cough syrup, tylenol and vicks vapor rub on hand…I was still left utterly unprepared to deal with lice. 

SO, the following is a lice crash course of sorts. My hope is that it will help someone else NOT have to go through the absolute hell that we did. 

This is an important tool for your parenting backpack that I highly recommend: 

If you don't already have one - buy one today! It's less than $10.

To check your child (or yourself) for lice:

1. Boil some water & pour into a white bowl.
2. Wet the hair down completely & comb/brush it out so completely untangled. 
2. Section your hair off into 4 to 6 sections
3. Take the lice comb starting at the scalp & comb through the hair shaft all the way to the end.
4. After each swipe through the hair - rinse the lice comb in the boiling water. This is the easiest way to see the lice at all stages & distinguish between dandruff & nits. Dandruff is white or clear in the water & will float at the top of the water (it also will flake right off of dry hair while nits do NOT.) Rinsing the lice comb in the boiling water is also to ensure that you don't comb any lice right back into the hair. 
5. Comb each section of hair: North to south, East to west, south to north, and west to east…especially if you DO find lice - you want to be extremely thorough in combing out as much as possible asap.

If you DO find lice - here are some things to know:

1. The lice shampoos don't work anymore. The lice are becoming immune, so don't bother wasting your money on it. 
2. Let people know that you have discovered it…it is the only way to try to end the cycle. 
3. There are 3 methods that I know work (from personal experience): 
b. A treatment by the Lice Clinic (if you are so lucky to have this service available in your area):
c. Shaving your head...if you have no hair - the lice have no where to live. End of problem. I was not willing to do this (though I DID actually consider it heavily for a few minutes). This was a no-brainer with our boys though...thankfully. It cut our lice problem instantly in half. 
4. 35 minutes in the dryer will kill lice - so throw all blankets, pillows, coats, hats, scarves, stuffed animals, etc in the dryer. You can throw all combs or hair things into a bowl & pour boiling water over them & soak for at least 5 minutes. 
5. LIce want to live on the head…they cannot live off of the head for longer than 48 hours - so if you have cloth covered couches - vacuum them. Then I recommend you cover them with a sheet for a few days (just in case) and call it good. 
6. We created a quarantine area in our house for things like throw pillows, etc. Once we dried them, we kept them in the quarantined area until we were sure that we were lice free. That way I didn't have to keep cleaning the same things over & over & over again.

Lice Prevention:

1. We have our daughter wear her hair up while she's at school.
2. No sharing combs or brushes - even in the family.
3. We do a lice comb comb-out after every bath time…so that we can catch anything early before it's a problem. And most of all - for peace of mind. :-)

By Nicole A.

Wow! Thank You Nicole for sharing such great advice.  I know people don't like to talk about this stuff and can even be embarrassed by it, but this is part of REAL life and REAL things we have to deal with.  If you have any questions for Nicole or anything helpful you would like to add, please leave it in the comments below.

Also, if you have tips on anything you have found helpful regarding your little ones, please submit them!



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