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Family : Children Last Updated: Jul 3, 2016 - 6:35:29 PM

Lice in my kids hair
By Staf writer
Jun 29, 2015 - 9:17:28 PM

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Your kids are scratching their heads.  You walk over to one of them curiously and look at their hair.  What is that?  You look closer.  Is that dandruff?  You brush it and it does not fall off. 

You go to the internet and after a couple searches you come upon images and you gasp in disbelief.  No.  My kids take baths everyday.  My house is clean.  I swear!  Not me...not us...it cannot be. 

Lice. Every thought goes through your mind. What will people think?  What do I do?  Where did this come from?  How am I going to deal with this? Thoughts of quarantine and the medieval plaque flash in front of you.

You start searching and searching for answers.  Chemicals.  Home recipes. Lice removal services. So much information.  What do I do?

Stop!  First of all many kids have had lice at one point or another.  It is not always the topic that people bring up...about themselves...."yes my kids are playing baseball and soccer...they have lice again...and oh, they will be at your son's party tomorrow...they are so excited.

Now, how do I get rid of the lice in their hair and what about my house?  Here is my experience in how to get rid of lice.

There are chemical based lice killers.  There are products that are essenitally overpriced salt water or sodium chloride.  There are videos on how to comb your kids hair.  People have used olive oil, tea tree oill shampoo, lice combs, mayonaise, and other products.

I will not waste your time talking about all the various methods.  You can look all these things up on the internet.  People have put up some excellent videos about the subject including one extensive one on combing hair to inspect for lice.

Here is my personal experience on what I have tried and what I think works to get rid of lice.

Ready.  You should consult your doctor before trying these methods.

What I tried.

Chemical based lice shampoo - I think they may have had permethrin. 
Result:  Did not seem to work.  I did not like the idea of using this chemical.
The included comb was not very helpful.

Olive Oil - I am not sure if this worked but it was messy.  Combing it out of the hair was messy too. 
Result:  Not sure.  If I was lice, I would not have been too happy though.

Lice comb - there is a steel lice comb that is way better than the plastic combs that come with the chemical lice shampoo.  I think this is worth the price.  When you use it, you will realize the plastic ones are useless in comparison.

Tea Tree Oil shampoo - not sure if this is harmful to kids long term.  It tingles.  This may be the peppermint oil.  I think the tea tree oil shampoo may be helpful.  I used it and I do not think I caught the lice or I got rid of them fast.  I also used tea tree leave in conditioner.  I did not use it with the kids though.
Result:  I think it was helpful.

Now, so what do I think ultimately work to kill the lice.  I found postings on the web about using salt water.  I also found a product in the drugstore that was basically sodium chloride mixed with water.  Wow now that is expensie salt water.

I applied the salt water using two methods. 

1.  I wet the hair and put salt in my hand a rubbed it in.  I do not think this is the best method.

2.  The better method.  I took a spray bottle and poured salt into it filling about half a centimeter of the bottom in height.  You can adjust the amount.  I then filled the bottle with water and shook it until the salt dissolved.  You can also add a little shampoo to the solution to make it a little more viscous, but I think plain salt water is fine too.

I sprayed the salt solution in my kids hair and they put a towel around their shoulders.  I moved their hair around to get full coverage.  Once it stopped dripping, the salt water dried leaving a visible film of salt all over their heads.  We left iit on for 20 or so minutes. 

It did not seem to be uncomfortable.  Watch out for your eyes. Do not get it into your eyes.  When I tired it, the salt water did not bother me.  I think I could feel a little tingling or burning at times.  Be careful if you have sensitive skin and in general.

Remember to consult your physician before trying these methods.

After a good 20 minutes or more, we washed out the salt from the hair and sometimes even combed the hair out with the steel lice comb.  Be careful using the lice comb.  We also used it with regular shampoo.

I am not sure if the salt water will damage pipes so you may want to ask a plumber.  I just made sure I flushed the pipes with plenty of water.

So again, what worked for me in getting rid of lice in my kids hair is a salt solution made from salt and water in a spray bottle.

What about the house and bed?  This can seem overwhelming. I washed the sheets and pillow cases in hot water and then dried them in the drier.  I think heat kills the lice and eggs (nits). 

Another ally you have is time. I think lice only live 3 days max without a food source.  So, once you know you are lice free, you can sleep elsewhere like the couch or go on a long weekend trip somewhere.  If you have to lie on your bed, put on new sheets and then put a sheet or pillow over it as well. 

You can also vacuum your bed really well. 

Other ideas that came to mind, but I never tried is spray your bed with rubbing alcohol....just be careful because it may damege the bed, floor or furniture.  DO your own research.  I just heard stories that people use vodka to remove odors...makes me think it would work on lice.

Overall though, I think the time method is important.  Just stay away from potenitally contaminated areas for 3 days (look this up) and let them die without food.

The salt solution worked for us and the steel lice comb added some assurance to the process. 

Good luck to you.  I really hope this article helps you solve your lice issue and saves you a lot of time, money and frustration.

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