** I talked with my family before publishing this post. They didn’t care if we talked about it having lice and want people to know it’s not a big deal if you get it.**
The first time I got lice was in kindergarten. That was 39 years ago. The last time (fingers crossed) was last week. My oldest daughter came to me one day last week and said her head itched. After a quick look, there was evidence of lice. I immediately got on the internet and was overwhelmed with what to actually do with this. Because now there are “Super Lice” and if you get those you might as well shave your head and burn your house down. So, let’s talk about lice for a minute.
First things first…
You do not have to burn your house down!
If you’ve been to my house, you know we are really clean people. And that’s totally not relevant because lice do not care if you are clean or dirty, rich or poor, sick or healthy, old or young… These parasites are equal opportunity bugs. All they care about is whether YOU are alive or not. So in true form, all of us but Doug got lice. Which meant that we all needed to be treated. I wanted to make sure we actually were treated properly, so we did go to Hair Fairies, a salon that specifically deals with lice. I know that not everyone has access to these salons or can afford them so I wanted to give you a few basic tips for surviving a lice outbreak in your home.
First, you need to get the lice under control. If you don’t do it right, you’re going to keep passing it back and forth to one another. I was told that my oldest daughter has probably had lice for over FIVE weeks. After seeing what came out of her hair, I have no idea how she’s been living with this. Second, start treating your family right away. Like I said, you can seek professional help, or do an at-home treatment plan. Keep in mind, this is not a one-shot treatment and your done. You need to be using a good preventative shampoo and checking daily for at least three weeks. It took over three hours to comb out my daughter’s hair and we still needed a second treatment. It wasn’t until the second treatment that we were all finally in the clear.
Once you have started treatment, you can then start working on your home. You’ll need to wash all your bedding each day until there are no more signs of lice or nits. Even one nit can do a lot of damage. Washing everything each day will be a drag but will save you in the end. We bagged everything up and stored it. It’s actually still in storage. That included decorative pillows, stuffed animals, and other toys that looked at me funny. Since my kids still sleep with lovies, I did wash them each day. After that, I vacuumed everything and sprayed with lice preventative. Your pillows and mattresses are fine as long as they didn’t come in direct contact.
We are finally done with this process. It’s not fun and can be really stressful. One of the reasons I really want to talk about this openly is because I don’t think we are aware of how common it is and left untreated we will continue to spread it. Once resource that really helped me was an eBook, Uninvited: Mom’s guide to lice. It’s a moms guide with what to do if you find yourself in our shoes. She provides step by step instructions on how to self-treat and keep the lice from returning.
Is your head itching now? Are you ready to check into a hotel for an extended weekend? Us, too.