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#1 Crazy4Canning

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:44 PM

As a teacher, once a year it invariably happens that someone gets a scare or the actual little parasites that cause so much work to get rid of. I just calmed my SIL down from the edge of insanity. So, if you have any methods that are tried and true, post them! I'd love to hear about them and add them to my arsenal.

So, here are some general information and remedies I've found over the years that have been proven to work:

General Information http://www.dhpe.org/infect/lice.html

* Head lice are parasitic insects that live in the hair and scalp of humans. They need human blood to survive.
* Head lice are spread easily from person to person by direct contact.
* Head lice can infest anyone, regardless of personal hygiene.
* Head lice are usually treatable with lice-killing shampoos and creme rinses.
* To prevent infection: 1) avoid direct contact with the head, hair, clothing, or personal belongings of a person with head lice, and 2) treat affected persons, their contacts, and their households.

What are head lice?

Head lice are parasitic insects that live in the hair and scalp of humans. The scientific name for head louse is Pediculus humanus capitis. Another name for infestation with head lice is pediculosis.

Head lice develop in three forms: nits, nymphs, and adults.

Nits: Nits are head lice eggs. They are hard to see and are often mistaken for dandruff or droplets of hairspray. Nits are found firmly attached to the hair shaft. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Nits take about 1 week to hatch.

Nymphs: Nits hatch into nymphs. Nymphs are immature adult head lice. Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching. To live, nymphs must feed on blood.

Adults: An adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, and is tan to greyish- white. In persons with dark hair, adult lice will look darker. Adult lice can live up to 30 days on a person's head. To live, adult lice need to feed on blood. If a louse falls off a person, it dies within 2 days.

Helpful Sites:

www.licekiller.com

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html

http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/hARDIN/MD/licepictures.html

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/conditions/a/head_lice.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/lice/head/faqs_treat.html

Natural Remedies:

Shampoo:
3 tbsp olive oil.
1 tsp tea tree oil.
1 tsp rosemary or eucalyptus oil
Mix with a handful of shampoo, work into hair and place showercap over head for 1/2 hour or so. Shampoo out with dish soap. Do every 6 days for 4-5 weeks.

Coat small sections of hair with Emu Oil. Wrap hair with shower cap or cellophane for 45 min. or overnight. Comb nits out, washing hair with natural soap. Repeat every 6 days for 4-5 weeks.

Sea Breeze Astringent and Antiseptic

Saturate scalp and roots of hair with Sea Breeze. Let sit for 45 min. Comb through hair with nit comb. Wash hair as usual. Repeat every six days.

Olive Oil

Though the CDC hasn't noted this to be particularly effective, many have found that coating the hair with an oil such as olive oil, mayonnaise, or Vaseline does help in the combing out of nits. The thought is that the hair shaft becomes too slippery for the parasites to hold on to. The downside is that you need a good dish soap with oil-repelling properties like Dawn to cleanse the hair. This can strip even color from hair.

One mom found that Cetaphil slathered on her son's head AFTER she shaved his head was an effective antiseptic and preventative. She shampooed his hair and did this every 6 days for 6 weeks.

Sanitization:

Thoroughly wash any item of clothing - car seat, coats, hats, bedding, pillows, even curtains if necessary in HOT water with a HOT dryer.

If you are unable to wash the item, bag it up for a couple of weeks. Any live lice and their nits will die. In the colder weather, some just put bags in the garage for the two weeks and wash later.

Stuffed animals can be spritzed with a pesticide (if you choose) and the dried in the dryer on HOT for 45 minutes. Some just pop them in the dryer

Regular iodized table Salt sprinkled on sofas and carpets can help dehydrate eggs (also works for flea eggs). This needs to sit for at least 6 hours or overnight. Vacuum and change the bag/ filter immediately.


This is from http://www.drgreene.com/21_640.html

Whatever treatment you choose, removing lice from the environment is critical to breaking the cycle.

Cleaning Method No. 1

* After the head is treated, wear a tight-fitting shower cap or bathing cap to prevent re-infestation during the cleaning process.
* Every surface in your home and car(s) that has touched a head, or has touched an object that has touched a head, must be deloused! All clothes need to be washed in hot water and dried in a hot drier. Even clean clothes that have been hanging in a closet might need to be washed -- if a person with lice wears a sweater, then takes it off and puts it back in the closet, any piece of fabric that it touches could become a new home for lice!
* Wash all bed clothing, including bedspreads, pillows, mattress covers -- anything fabric. Dry-cleaning and ironing with a hot iron also kills lice and nits.
* Clothing and bed coverings that cannot be safely washed in hot water can be double bagged in black plastic bags, sealed tightly, and put away for three days. At the end of that time, wash the clothing according to normal washing instructions.
* Combs and brushes should be soaked in rubbing alcohol or Lysol for one hour, followed by washing in soapy water.
* Thoroughly vacuum all carpets -- even under the beds! Steam cleaning is even better. Using a high-powered vacuum (not a battery-operated hand-held version), thoroughly vacuum all upholstered furniture. Or better yet, have all upholstered furniture professionally cleaned.
* Spray and powder forms of lice medicines can be used on carpets, floors, and upholstery. I personally prefer not to use these pesticides unless it is impossible to do a thorough cleaning. If you do need to use one of these products, be sure that your children are not present when you use it, and that you thoroughly air out the space before allowing your children to return.
* Before you take that lovely shower cap off, be sure to take off all the clothes you've been wearing during this process. Put on freshly hot-water laundered clothes, and put your work clothes in the wash.
* If you do not have access to a washer and dryer in your home, work in teams. Someone who has not been treated yet can put all the loads of laundry into the washers at a public laundry facility. Meanwhile, a second person can be treated, and then go to the laundry and take over. You want to avoid unlaundered clothes if you have been treated (unless you are wearing a shower or bathing cap), and you want to avoid handling clean clothes if you haven't been treated.

Cleaning Method No. 2 -- The Real Alternative

* This great suggestion came from my friend Dr. Donnica, formerly of NBC's Later Today show. Instead of cleaning every inch of the house, just lock your house up tight and go on vacation. Get rid of the lice on your heads, and then get out of town. I like this idea. Lice die after 55 hours without a human host. If you can afford to be gone for at least three days, you will return to a lice-free environment.

Returning to School

* After everyone in the community has completed Day One treatment, it is safe to return to school. Every child, teacher, and staff member should be inspected for lice prior to re-entry. This will make coming back to school the first day after the big cleanup a real zoo. Consider making it into a party! Have a few parents meet early and inspect each other's heads. Then they can break up into stations in the school parking lot, playground, or some other convenient location that everyone must pass before going into any of the buildings. As each person is inspected, give him or her a sticker -- "The Great Lice Adventure!"
* If a child does not pass, have a plan. Parents cannot be allowed to just drop off their kids on that day. If the child doesn't pass, the parent must have a provision for alternative child-care (this will be a real incentive to comply with the plan). In addition, have prepared instructions to give to any parents who may need to do all that work over again.

Days Two Through 13

* Shampoo daily and follow with careful nit-combing. I like using tea tree oil shampoo for this purpose (this is not full-strength tea tree oil, but the shampoo that contains tea tree oil.) Found in health-food stores, this shampoo is reported to prevent re-infestation with lice, but studies have not been done to determine its efficacy.

Day 14

* Repeat an application of Nix (or alternative treatment), in order to catch any lice that might have hatched since the first application. Do one last, thorough nit-combing.

Beyond Day 14

* Continue scalp inspections until the lice have left the community -- at least for the time being.
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#2 dogmom4

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:51 PM

I have worked with kids in some fashion for over 30 years. I've been exposed to lice many times (including when doing home daycare). I've never gotten it and my kids haven't either. I truly believe it's because we all use hair pomade. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomade The main ingredient in the brands that I use is petrolatum. I don't know if it makes the hair too slippery to hang on or if it smothers them...I just know none of us have ever gotten them. I had one little girl when I did daycare who had a really hard time getting rid of them I finally convinced her parents to use olive oil...her hair looked really greasy for several weeks..but it worked and it was non toxic.

My head is itching now...everytime someone brings up lice I start itching....I feel for your sil...tell her to bag up all stuffed animals, etc for 6 weeks, clean couches and car seats to make sure they don't come back!
bighug


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#3 Crazy4Canning

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 02:30 AM

Oh yes, I do too. My SIL begs for advice, gets it, then does her own thing. You can BET I'm confirming the problem is under control before I go there to tutor her son.

My skin and scalp crawl too. I treated my hair with Sea Breeze and had my hairdresser look at it. She assured me I was fine...STILL...the paranoia is fierce. smile
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#4 susie

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 06:27 AM

Try the mayo clinic.

Open a jar of mayonnaise, glop it on, comb it out.

The acid in it will loosen the nit glue, the mayo will suffocate the headmonsters, the mayo will stick to and catch even the teeniest ones, and the oil in it will be too slippery for them to hold on when you comb.

The oil and egg will make hair shiny and soft, too.

(shamppo three times after treatment to remove the oil)

#5 Rezgirl

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 01:43 PM

Don't even get me started on this subject. I have dealt with this with foster kids more times than I care to recall.

WHAT NOT TO DO-

Do not use vaseline on long thick hair, after shampooing a dozen times with dish soap, we still could not even comb through it. We ended up working WD-40 into small sections at a time and washing each section immediately. I couldn't believe I was putting WD-40 om a child's hair, but we were desparate. The up side was that every time we lathered up with dish soap, we'd see the lice in the suds we squeezed out.


I have heard of Mayonaise, some kids who were here have told me that the children's home use it.
Also had some teens who said that one place used Coca-Cola...never tried that. Sounds like a sticky mess.


I have used white vinegar to dip the lice comb into while combing out the hair.

One sibling group told me their mom would use dog shampoo on their hair, (4 girls, I guess she was desperate, lice shampoo is expensive)

Talking about this is making me itchy........I'm outta here yuk



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#6 susie

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 02:23 PM

Old French grannies say to pout hot vinegar onto the head.

#7 Crazy4Canning

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 02:49 PM

Oh I forgot to include that the remedy in the 20's and 30's was to take a cloth saturated with kerosene, a patch of hair and RUB the hair and scalp with the kerosene and then WASH...this was done every few days for a few weeks.
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#8 Violet

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:14 PM

I recently saw a program on tv where a doctor was saying that the mayo was cheap and effective.
Also, my daughter lived at a missionary training center for a while. They were taught to use Vo5 shampoo and you would not get lice so easily. I don't know why, but the missionaries who would go to other countries and use the Vo5 did not get lice. If they used another type of shampoo they often did. It is cheap shampoo, too. Usually about 79 cents.
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#9 Pixie

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:40 AM

We just got rid of lice in only a week. We coated both girls hair with a mix of olive oil and tea tree oil. We out garbage bags over their pillows and mattresses under the sheets which can be easily washed, put shower caps on their heads and let them sleep that way. The next morning e wash it out, use a conditioner that has olive oil and tea tree added. We comb through looking for nits and bugs removing as much as we can. We repeat the next night having them sleep with it in their hair. We wash it out and comb again. Also, you have to remember to every morning wash their sheets, vacuum the house including the furniture, wash all their clothes right away no leaving them in a hamper overnight. remind them not to rest their heads on anything for a while. Just to be safe.

Make sure everyone showers and uses shampoo and conditioner that both has olive oil and tea tree in it. Even those who don't have lice, it will prevent it as well.

you have to be diligent, and keep on it. Putting pillows and blankets that are too bulky to put in the washing machine in the dryer for 20 to 30 minutes will kill any lice in them. Lice can only live for up to 55 hours away from a human head (or so i have read online)

Mayo works but it is also pretty gross to have on your head in my opinion.


Hope that helps

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#10 susie

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:10 AM

We do the mayo clinic thing.

#11 Ambergris

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:16 PM

If you can afford to be gone three days, you will return to a louse-free home? IF NO EGGS WERE INVOLVED! Eggs take (I think) two weeks to hatch. The egg shells are stubbornly effective in protecting the baby lice from applied poisons.

We use mayo and shower caps. The bent can store near here has hotel castoffs, including the little hygiene kits and shower caps, so we can get shower caps for a nickel apiece. We also paid $9 for the Albertsons comb set. The comb set is good for small children with fine hair. It induces screams in thick-haired adolescents. Mayonnaise is somewhat effective if left on for an hour or two, then combed out, then showered off. Shower caps seem to increase the efficacy of the mayo, and let the kid read or play videogames while being treated. The mayo treatment has to be repeated every couple of days for a couple of weeks, but persistent repetition turns a somewhat effective treatment into an extremely effective one.

We tried the Scope rinse and the Listerine rinse. They killed lice by the fistful but also did horrible things to the hair. We tried the coal tar shampoo. It's about as effective as mayo but costs much, much more.
We tried Vaseline, and were about ready to shave by the time we got it all shampooed out. No, dish soap is not perfectly effective against Vaseline.
We tried olive oil and it worked about as well as the mayo, but was much harder to rinse out--plus, it costs more.

Put all stuffed toys in plastic bags for three weeks. You will reduce anxiety if you use clear plastic, like one of those huge ziplock bags, so the kid can see his lovey is still there and "safe."


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#12 susie

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:48 AM

Reading this thread makes my head itch.

#13 susie

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:48 AM

Reading this thread makes my head itch.

#14 blestmomof4

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:42 AM

I like to get unscented shampoos and conditioners and put peppermint essentual oil in it or use a little Dr. Bronners Peppermint soap. All 'little' crittters seem to avoid mint and it smells great. I use Dr. Bronners daily. It smells great, a bottle last forever, it 'wakes' you up with that peppermint scent, and it doesn't have the chemicals in it.

Also when I hear rumors that lice is going around I have put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in the kids shampoo and that has seemed to help also.

When the girls did get them I used the olive oil and sat them under the dryer while they read a book or two. I also used a good metal toothed comb and not the little plastic ones, they work much better. I vaccumed, washed everything, and put everything in a hot dryer.

When I was little my mom worked in a nursing home and an 18 year old boy was there with severe brain damamge. His mom had treated him for headlice/ringworm and had left the chemical treatment on his head for an extended period of time and it caused brain damage. I WILL NOT put chemical treatments on my kids heads.

When the girls know that it is going around they wear their hair up with so much hairspray that nothing could through it....lol


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#15 susie

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:54 AM

The French swear by hot vinegar poured onto the head. They also advise lavender oil.

One thing that I noticed in the increased infestation after we all sat around together on a big pillowed couch. The 'headmonsters' loved it, and jumped from pillow to pillow.

#16 Girl Next Door

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:48 PM

I have used plain, unscented White Rain conditioner w/ lavender essential oil for an hour, then shampooed out with great success.

#17 John & Joan of Ark

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:37 AM

As as preventative I've used coconut scented shampoo like Suave. I so remember all those awful treatment and I'm so glad it's not so prevalent around these parts. I still have my little combs packed away in the emergency medical kit.
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#18 GirlNextDoor

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:56 AM

QUOTE (dogmom4 @ Nov 5 2008, 03:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have worked with kids in some fashion for over 30 years. I've been exposed to lice many times (including when doing home daycare). I've never gotten it and my kids haven't either. I truly believe it's because we all use hair pomade. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomade The main ingredient in the brands that I use is petrolatum. I don't know if it makes the hair too slippery to hang on or if it smothers them...I just know none of us have ever gotten them. I had one little girl when I did daycare who had a really hard time getting rid of them I finally convinced her parents to use olive oil...her hair looked really greasy for several weeks..but it worked and it was non toxic.

My head is itching now...everytime someone brings up lice I start itching....I feel for your sil...tell her to bag up all stuffed animals, etc for 6 weeks, clean couches and car seats to make sure they don't come back!

I absolutely agree. 21 years ago when my DS was a tiny boy his pediatrician made a very politically incorrect statement about certain ethnic groups of kids using pomade and a correlation with not getting lice. We came to the subject because I told him (when my kid, husband and self all got lice) I was from East Texas and got the dog gone lice every year. He told me it was because I have fine, flyaway hair so I didn't use any products on it and it went from there. I have kept one eye out since then and agree the Dr. was probably right. Dr. Dean Edell on the radio said a cure for lice is olive oil for a half hour because it smothers the eggs and bugs. You think YOUR head is itching? I'm sitting here bleaching my hair right now! LOL!

BTW, you can spray couches, etc. with rubbing alcohol to kill bugs. Test for color fastness, first.

A metal flea comb can be bought at the pet store for a fraction of a lice comb--it's the same thing.
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#19 zzelle

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:24 PM

thanks for all the wonderful info no lice here yet thank goodness
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