This post may contain affiliate links. Please view my disclosure policy for more information.
Does the word “Lice” strike fear in you? I bet your head is already itching just thinking about it. Most parents will come across lice at some point. It seems that a few times each year, the dreaded “lice outbreak” letter makes the rounds around schools.
Do you know what to do?
It’s impossible to fully prevent lice unless you keep your child in a bubble. However, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of your child coming down with a case.
This is one time you should teach your children not to share. Teach your kids that hats, hair brushes and hair accessories shouldn’t be shared.
Put Up Hair
Especially when there’s an active outbreak, try to put your child’s hair in a braid to minimize exposure.
There are several over the counter sprays and shampoos that are designed to deter lice.
Using disinfectant wipes, wipe down backpacks or toys that could have come into contact with lice.
When there is an active outbreak (or anytime if you’re paranoid like me!), begin frequent inspections. You can inspect as often as you like. I suggest doing a quick inspection daily and a full one at least once per week. Inspect by looking through the hair for eggs or nits. For a full inspection, run a lice comb through every strand of hair.
So, you found the dreaded louse. Don’t panic! You can do this. Below, I’ve listed the common treatments for lice. You will have to pick more than one to fully get rid of an infestation. I suggest starting with the more gentler remedies and working your way up to the harsher ones. Some remedies work better for adult louses and others work better for nits. Choosing a combination approach is the best.
This is the most common treatment. Most over the counter treatments work but they are full of chemicals that are very harsh on hair and can cause scalp irritation.
Did you know there are professional lice pickers? This is a great option if you have the money. The success rate is high with professional pickers. This is really only an option if you live in a large area. However, I considered driving to one 6 hours away when my daughter got lice!
The electric comb works great. It electrocutes the louses, killing them on contact or stunning them long enough to be able to pick them out. I personally love the electric comb. I am a bit paranoid, so I run it through my family’s hair once every few days as part of my inspection routine.
Using a picking comb, you pick out each and every egg and louse you can see. This is a time consuming but effective option.
Using a hair dryer or a straightener on the high setting may kill lice. However, this is also bad for the hair.
Slather the hair with mayonnaise and cover it with a shower cap overnight. This reportedly kills lice by smothering them. This will only work for adult louses.
You do not have to go crazy and throw away everything in your home to get rid of an infestation. Lice can only survive a short time without a human head! You should, however, take a few precautions to ensure your hard work treating lice is not in vain.
- Wash all bedding, clothes or stuffed animals that were exposed in hot water. Dry with high heat.
- Soak all hair accessories in hot water with a few drops of tea tree oil overnight.
- Spray mattresses with vinegar and few drops of tea tree oil.
- It’s not really necessary but I also suggest spraying down the carpet with the tea tree oil and vinegar mixture as well. It gives me peace of mind.
- Take everything that cannot be washed (stuffed animals) and seal up in a plastic bag for at least two weeks.
Lice is a scary word to many parents. I hope you never have to suffer through an infestation. But, if you do, I hope this information helps you!
Have you ever had to deal with an infestation? How long did it take you to get rid of it?