It's that time of the year. You open your child's backpack, and there's a note that says that someone in their class has lice. You gasp and panic, because this is THE parenting nightmare. Here are some tips and tricks to help you stop breathing in a bag and get rid of lice, sponsored by The Critter Cure.
Does my child have lice?
My head is itching just writing this article. Before you go into full on panic, make sure there is reason to panic. Lice are very small and quick little critters. Make sure that you have good lighting. You may want to use a magnifying glass. It is suggested that you wet your child's head to make them more visible. You can hire a professional, like our sponsors The Critter Cure, to check your family if you have been exposed and are uncertain. See symptoms below.
- Presence of nits (lice eggs)– If you see something that looks like dandruff, but you cannot easily get it off the hair, this would be the nits. They are close to the scalp. To get the nits out of the hair, you will literally have to pull them to the end of the hair because they stick that well.
- Sensation of something crawling along scalp
- Itching– If your child is itching persistently his or her necks, ears, and scalp, this is a sign. Unfortunately, it may take a few weeks for this symptom to take place. It is actually an allergic reaction to the saliva and feces of the lice.
- Presence of small red bumps-As the nits hatch, they start to bite leaving small red dots.
Treating the family
Take a deep breath. You will all survive. You need to treat the whole family even if there is no lice present as a precaution. Below is a list of options to treat. Treat everyone within the same time span.
- Over the counter treatments- There are several of over the counter treatments including some homeopathic.
- Prescription shampoos- Your pediatrician should be able to prescribe. Some of these will kill the nits as well which is one of the hardest parts of getting rid of them.
- Lice Removal Services- These angels from The Critter Cure will come check your family. They will treat those that need it. They will also educate you on treating your home and follow up. Most services come with a guarantee as well.
No matter which option you choose, follow up treatments and treating your home is critical. Carefully read instructions. Most treatments recommend a follow up treatment in varying lengths of time.
Treating your home.
One of the keys to making these critters go away is to make sure no one gets another hitchhiker after treatment. Here's some tips below.
- Change clothes after treatment
- Wash all clothing and bedding used by infested people in the last two days- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended washing in hot water and on high heat.
- Wash combs and brushes- Some people feel better replacing. CDC recommends washing in water 130°F for 5–10 minutes. Others suggest running them through the dishwasher.
- Vacuum areas the person has been including furniture.
- Make sure you clean the upholstery in your car and your child's car seat.
While it may be hard to overcome the stigma of being “patient zero”, it's important to make other potentially exposed families aware of your lice situation, especially friends who have been to your house or vice versa. It may feel a little embarrassing, but they'll appreciate the warning!
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