Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Reviewing Head Lice Treatment Products

Just About Every Household Deals With Head Lice


As much as none of us would want to admit that these little buggers have come to our homes for a visit, I can't think of many households that haven't had to deal with head lice at some time or another. As the time rapidly approaches for the children to return to school, these little critters need to be on our minds. We can start a preventive routine or we might find they have found a home on one of our children. It is time for a lice check, Mom; before they start school. No one wants to get that call from the school nurse saying that we need to come get our child for head lice!

Now, here is the thing. Our kids can get these nasty little bugs just about anywhere there are other children or adults. It may be that they went to a camp of some kind over the summer, they went to a sleepover, or they were in a daycare situation. The most common way that head lice spread is the close contact that children have with each other's heads as they play. An adult louse could have dropped onto the car seat that your child rode in and then attached itself to their hair. They could have been on a pillow they slept on, a chair in a restaurant or the comb or brush they borrowed from a friend. Perhaps they swapped hats at a sporting event. They can be anywhere that hair comes in contact with objects. The thing about head lice is that they don't care what your income level is or how clean your home is, they just want a live head of hair to feed on. They don't discriminate!

What Is The Best Treatment For Head Lice?

Basically you need 4 items. A medicated shampoo, a medicated hair gel, a spray for items that can't be washed and a nit comb.


You can purchase all of these items separately but getting them in one package is a more economical way to go, at least in my humble opinion. Read the directions carefully when starting the treatment. For instance, the first step is applying the shampoo but you need to put it on dry hair first. The water will dilute the solution.

One application will not necessarily take care of the lice. You need to plan on a 3 week regiment in order to be sure that all of the little head bugs are gone. That is an entire cycle of these creepy little critters.

An adult louse can live from 24 to 48 hours when it is not on a hair shaft. That is where the spray comes in handy for car upholstery, pillows, furniture and other places hair might drop a live louse. They can't fly or hop but they do have little claws that allow them to crawl.

Another important step is to make sure that the combs, brushes, barrettes and other hair related items are cleaned properly. You can clean them with the medicated shampoo but a less expensive solution is to place them in hot water (at least 130 degrees or hotter) for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also clean them with rubbing alcohol. I have used the hot water with a little white vinegar added as a precaution to clean the hair utensils.

The medicated shampoo tells you to repeat the treatment after 7 days. What about the time in between? What if you didn't get all of the lice with that first application? A live louse can lay eggs 3 or 4 times a day. A good precaution is to wet the hair every other day and use that nit comb on the hair. That will get any eggs and live lice out in between the treatments.

In the past, when we found these little creepy crawlies, I made sure that I changed the pillow cases everyday and washed the ones from the night before immediately. That might be overkill but it is what I did for my kids and family.

Our family decided that a good practice to prevent an infestation would be to periodically use that nit comb in our daily bathing just to be on the cautious side and as a a preventive measure because you never know where you might encounter these little bugs when you are out in public.

Do Not Panic


If you find yourself having to deal with these little buggers, don't panic. I know they are creepy and disgusting but you can get rid of them. It won't be overnight but you can follow the steps and get rid of them. Also, do not feel ashamed. I know it is embarrassing and not exactly something you want to share with all your friends but as I said before these little guys never discriminate on where they decide to live. We all go out in public places and have the potential to innocently pick one up in our hair. 

This isn't the most exciting topic to discuss and quite frankly as I write it, I find my skin crawling just a tad but I know from experience that just about all of us have to deal with head lice at some point in our lives. It doesn't mean we are dirty or have bad hygiene habits; it just means we accidentally let our hair touch a place where the little critters had been. Typically, they are passed the easiest with our children because they don't know to be cautious but an adult can just as innocently encounter a "little head bug" from time to time. Now you know a good way to get rid of them or prevent them from spreading.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

4 comments:

  1. As you say, it is not a pretty subject, but knowng how to get rid of head lice is imperative, especially with school age children. I have only witnessed one encounter of head lice and I was go glad it wasn't in my own house. They extra work was extremely tiring for the mom involved having to clean up and treat. Excellent review with much need information and advice.

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    1. Years ago, one of my daughters got them at a camp she went to for two weeks. I just about drove myself and my family crazy making sure we were rid of them. After that, there was a diligent effort to never have them in our home again.

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  2. This is a problem we've never encountered, but of course we raised boys who always wore their hair short. It really is a bit of an "ewwww" topic, but very important as families prepare for back to school. Informative and very well written!

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    1. Having worked in an elementary school for many years, I saw many families that were suddenly drawn into having to get rid of these little critters. Having been exposed ourselves from a daughter's camp experience, I had real empathy for those Moms and felt the need to always stay on top of the situation since I was surrounded by children on a daily basis. I don't have that exposure anymore but still take the precautions, just in case. It isn't information that we want to have to use but sure helps if the time ever comes that we need it.

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