My daughter got lice. Those are four words you don’t want to say, right? Well, she did, and after hours of painstakingly picking through her hair, 17 loads of laundry, and possibly a little wine consumption, it became clear to me that parents need help in this fight! So after much research and educucation my sister and I opened a head lice treatment and education company in Green Bay, WI. Since then, we have successfully treated hundreds of cases of lice, and talked with thousands of people regarding the prevention, detection, and treatment of lice. Some of our favorite tips are found below!
List of things to do if you want lice (and I know all parents say they don’t but I’ve seen too many bad habits that make me think otherwise):
- Wear your hair long, loose and flowing – lice cannot jump or fly but they do crawl to a new hairstrand in a matter of seconds. Lice crossing strands in real time Keep that bridge to transfer OPEN for a new infestation by not styling it in a ponytail, braid, or bun, closer to your own head.
- Focus exclusively on teaching your child not to share hats or hairbrushes – it is estimated that less than 2% of lice cases come from sharing articles of clothing. Also, don’t teach your child the term “head to head contact” so that they won’t be attentive to keeping their head from touching the heads of other children who may or may not have lice.
- NEVER check your child for bugs or nits –
as long as you don’t look, its not there right?
- Convince yourself and everyone else you know that your school doesn’t have any cases of lice, because they haven’t sent home a letter this year – the 6-12 million cases of head lice each year are in EVERYONE else’s kids’ schools, stinks to be them huh? Even though many districts have switched to policies of not sending out letters, I’m sure yours would if there was actually lice there, right?
- Don’t use any preventative products on your children’s hair – since no one in their school has lice, there’s no reason to use products that have been shown to actively repel lice!
- If somehow, someone in the classroom(obviously a new student) does have lice, be sure you and your children shame them to know that they should have at least never told anyone about it! – if people with lice would just keep it completely secret, then no one else would be any the wiser to check their children, or do any of the other prevention measures mentioned, and we can keep the cycle going!
How to keep lice in your family
If you’ve done all of these things and are lucky enough to get lice in your family, here are some Top Tips to help keep the parasites around!
- Ask your favorite Facebook moms group how to treat lice – undoubtedly you will get no less than a dozen suggestions of “home remedies” to try, most of which will fail to mention that combing is a crucial step. (coconut oil!… Cetaphil!… Coca-Cola!… Mayonnaise!… Tea tree oil!…) From what we’ve heard from parents, you have a strong possibility of being able to try several of these remedies while keeping the infestation going!
- Exhaust yourself sanitizing every inch of your house to ensure the bugs aren’t living in your walls- lice can only survive on a human head, so if you spend all your time cleaning the surfaces of your house and cars, you’ll be sure not to have the energy to properly remove them from your child’s head. This will allow them to continue hatching and breeding for at least a few more generations!
- Convince yourself that the Terminator comb
is no better than the plastic comb that came in your drugstore kit and refuse to buy one – it doesn’t matter what an independent comb study says (Comb comparison study) , or that multiple professional treatment clinics recommend this specific comb. Stick to your guns and use your plastic comb if you believe all lice matters and should be given a chance to survive!
- After your first attempt at treatment, assume the lice is gone and don’t check again – it only takes two missed nits (male and female) to start a new infestation, so if you don’t continue to check for anything you’ve missed, you will most likely be able to discover your child has lice “again” within a couple weeks.
- Once again, let me remind you to tell no one – chances are your child picked up lice from their friend group. If those parents are not aware of the need to be vigilant, you have a good chance of sending your child back into the lion’s den, allowing them to bring home a new infestation.
When it’s all said and done, the truth is that lice is part of parenting. Along with cleaning up vomit, helping them go to the bathroom, and the endless snot that enters your life upon having children, lice is another gross part of the journey. But the best news is that in today’s wonderful age there are companies that will handle the grossness for you! What a time to be alive! Now… who’s going to start a puke-cleaning company for me!