Sometimes my life follows Pinterest, sometimes Pinterest follows life. Today life went to shit.
A little backstory actually, my family of 4 has not been well since before Halloween. We have taken turns getting stomach bugs, upper respiratory infections, influenza, ear infections and I think we even fought off a dose of Plague. So what would be the capper to this, the sickest holiday season on record?
(If you see a shower of frogs later, realize that God is just fucking with me at this point.)
Now one might not first think of Pinterest and lice as going together, but after my initial period of hyperventilating and cursing under my breath, I gathered myself and thought, "I could pin the hell out of this". See, when I said before that I have few areas where I consider myself an expert I forgot to add "Lice Killing Death Machine" to the list.
Lice fear me. I am the Bringer of Darkness, the Oncoming Storm to the little biting bastards.
Here's what you need:
A lice killing shampoo. Follow the directions on the box, it isn't like regular shampoo.
A few different nit combs, depending on your kid's hair length and texture the one that comes with the shampoo may or may not work. I prefer the kind with metal teeth, they just seem to be more effective. I particularly like the one sold by the Ladibugs.
That sucker will flat pull out a louse (mature bug), a nymph (immature bug incapable of reproduction) or a nit like, woah. They are pricey, but worth it. The rest of their shampoos and stuff I am not a huge fan of, but the comb is something special.
After the shampoo has been applied I do not use regular shampoo or conditioner for 12 hours, then I shampoo and condition the hair so it is very easy to comb through; because you are going to be combing a lot my friend. Set yourself up somewhere comfortable because this is going to take a while. If you have a kid with long hair you are also going to need a lot of hair clips or bobby pins.
Section the kid's hair into 4 quadrants. One part down the middle, one part going perpendicular to that, or like you drew a cross on the kid's head and you are dividing it into 4 sections. Starting at the nape of the neck section hair into very small clumps and comb it through. Wipe your comb after each pass onto a clean white towel or rag. Look to see if you are dislodging nits/lice. As each section is cleaned, twirl it up into a little knot and secure with a bobby pin or clip. Keep going, this will be tedious, but worth it.
You also don't need to go crazy with the house cleaning either. Strip the kid's bed, throw the pillows into the dryer on high for 30 minutes, wash and dry the sheets and blankets and they will be fine. You can use a lice bedding spray, but honestly lice don't like to leave someone's head, if they are in the mattress they are doomed. They can't live more than 48 hours off of your head and they can't hop and they can't fly. Once they are pinned in by the sheet or the mattress pad, they are toast.
I throw stuffed animals into the dryer with the pillows, BUT their fur can melt. If this is a precious, precious toy then simply bag the toy up in a plastic bag and leave it for 2 weeks. A louse can't live more than 48 hours off your head, but you want to make sure any little eggs they have left behind all hatch and die before you give it back to your kid.
The following day, just live your life man. You will have to re-treat the kid's hair in 7 to 10 days. DO NOT MISS THIS WINDOW. Mark it in your calendar, clear your schedule you must re-treat or your kid will get infested again.
In the in-between days of lice treatments the only extra precaution I take is in using an electrified nit comb, in fact I own this exact model from Robi.
I have used this successfully on my kids as well as some of my nieces/nephews and let me tell you it is so satisfying to zap the little bastards. I mean, the lice of course, not the precious, precious children. I have in fact never zapped the kids with it. I prefer to use my cattle prod for that.
I did find a good Pin today about lice though that I'd love to share. Although it is not as pro-pesticide as I am it has excellent facts about the importance of nit combing and debunks some common lice myths.
Just remember, if your kids get lice DON'T PANIC, comb their hair and apply alcohol (in the form of tasty cocktails) as needed.