Last week I was combing my younger daughter’s hair and I found lice. And even though every article I have read since then on how to get rid of lice tells me NOT to panic! I did! I freaked out!
Sadly I’ve had experience with this before – 5 years ago with my older one. There was a Christmas concert in that story, along with kids who couldn’t decide if they wanted to be Santa or an Elf! And the naive teachers who left the choice of hats up to the kids.
“Here, you can be Santa today! I had my turn yesterday.”
Hats is the one thing kids must be taught NOT TO SHARE!
But I digress – all I’m saying is that I have gathered enough experience on how to get rid of lice. So here goes.
How To Get Rid Of Lice
- When you spot lice in your little one’s head – PANIC! Because that will give you the adrenalin rush to do what needs to be done, and light a fire so that your entire family gets moving. You need them. This is not a job you can do alone.
- Call around to let your kids’ friends know so they can be checked out as well. Don’t be embarrassed, your child got the suckers from somewhere and is likely going to pass them on if you’re not careful. Do you know what’s worse than being the kid with lice? Being the kid who passed them on to other people!
- What you will need: lice combs (the metal ones), a magnifying glass, and a mug with hot water. Over the years I have tried a few combs and the thin plastic ones don’t cut it. You need the TERMINATOR of all lice combs. You need this one.
- You also need coconut oil – a wonderful remedy for getting rid of lice. It’s not a magic solution though. You still have to do the work. Massage it into your kids’ hair, and comb using your normal hairbrush to get the knots out.
- Now section the hair, and comb. Keep a paper towel handy to wipe the comb on.
- Now for the icky part – it’s easy to spot lice. They have legs. Coconut oil seems to slow them down so you can comb them out. Then dip the comb in the water and shake them off. Next wipe the comb on the paper towel, and go again. Section and comb.
- You’re not done yet. There’s lice, then there’s nymphs (young lice), and there’s also eggs – nits! Tiny and beige, caramel coloured oval or crescent-shaped, or even tear drop shaped. You see the confusion. Here is the most practical article I found along with the description of what lice look like. The other confusion is dandruff. One good tip I got during this process was that dandruff flakes are pale white and irregularly shaped. Nits on the other hand are evenly shaped and darker in colour – and if they crunch when you crush them you got them in time before they hatched.
- Section and comb.
- Once you’re done soak the brushes and combs in Dettol and soap with hot water for at least an hour. Boiling hot water from the kettle will do the disinfecting faster but you may end up needing new brushes.
- Use a strong nail brush to clean the grooves and around the bristles afterwards.
Getting Rid Of Lice Around The House
Lice cannot live away from the body but the thought of their dead cells hanging around is disgusting so here’s what I did to get rid of lice around the house.
11. Vacuum every soft surface in the house. Couches, carpets, rugs, headboards even seat cushions.
12. Wash pillow cases, sheets, towels, PJ’s, all clothes that you or your kids may have worn recently.
13. All stuffed toys, duvets and pillows that cannot be put in the washer need to go in the dryer for 45 mins on high heat.
You are not done yet!
Repeat this daily for the next three days. Section and comb every morning and evening. I would have continued my crazed panic for another few days if it hadn’t been for my local NitWits in Toronto. A professional lice check helps greatly to make sure you’re on the right track, and whether you need to dial the crazy back!
The silver lining – yes there was one. My house has never been this CLEAN!