Yesterday I received the dreaded phone call from school: “Mrs. Vinderine, your child has lice,” and as a neurotic clean freak, all I could think about was how itchy I suddenly was.
I’m not going to lie to you, I went into full out panic mode. Called my husband, told everyone at the office, immediately put my hair up in a bun which for those of you who have seen my hair, know that this is no small feat. Then I sat in my chair which I had quickly perused to ensure nothing was crawling on it and thought – now what?
So being the founder of PTPA has a few advantages. Namely knowing a lot of people who make products specifically for families. All of the sudden I remembered one of our Parent Tested Parent Approved winners, Lice Squad and quickly e-mailed them to see how they could help.
I am that hands off type of person where if there is a way to get someone to help me resolve a problem, I will go for it. Yes, many of you will judge me, and I’m okay with that because it’s what works for my lifestyle. I figure my day is already too full and the added stress of me becoming a lice expert now was not on my agenda for the day.
Within a couple of hours of reaching out to Lice Squad, I had my evening appointment booked for us to all get checked and my child to get treated.
This being the first time I’ve experienced lice in my home (as a parent at least, because my mom remembers all too well these experiences from my brother and I), I was kind of overwhelmed with the number of things that needed to be done in the house.
Here are a few tips in case these nasty, ugly bugs ever visit your family’s head:
1)Take all linens and put them in the tumble cycle of your dryer on high for 30 minutes minimum.
Learn from my mistakes, you don’t have to go and wash each and every item on the 2 hour sanitize cycle that likely cost me a small energy fortune yesterday before I knew that it wasn’t necessary.
2)Take pillow covers off all couches that may have been visited by the lice bearing family member and throw them in the dryer as well.
3)Head over to the coat closet and take all jackets that were hanging in that coat closet with your child’s jacket and throw them in the dryer as well.
4)Scratch profusely while reading this article so that I know its not just me who is this itchy even though I am lice free!
5)Do not invite your lice laden child to snuggle up to you. While lice don’t fly from head to head, they certainly crawl from head to couch to head so snuggling is not ideal until these little guys are gone.
6)Cover your couches with a sheet and insist your child sit specifically on that area of the couch until completely lice free. At the end of the evening, take that sheet and throw it into the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat. Your dryer will be getting lots of action on this particular day!
7)So itchy right now, anyone else?!?!?!?!?!?!
8) Apply a non-toxic treatment to your childs hair and carefully follow the instructions. We applied the treatment for 1.5 hours and had their hair covered with a plastic bag/shower cap to help suffocate the lice.
9)Take all hairbrushes and soak them in hot soapy water to ensure you have killed off anything.
10)If you have leather car seats, simply wipe them down but if you have fabric seats, thoroughly vacuum them and spray with some sort of lice killing enzyme.
11)Apparently, lice are resistant to toxins so you do not need harsh chemicals to kill them! Do not under any circumstances use any thing toxic on your child’s head, in fact, even tea tree oil is helpful as a deterrant to lice. I learned that they are so toxin resistant that if a child with head lice goes into a chlorine filled pool, those lice actually can live for 4-5 hours and can attach themselves to another head of hair. Totally gross, I know but I promised I would share the good bad and the ugly, so there you go.
In short (or not so short), The Lice Squad sent over the very lovely Jaidee to the rescue. She spent 3 hours cleaning out nits from two of my children (yup, both had it) and double checked my husband for lice. She also checked me which took a ridiculous amount of time because I had to brush out my hair which I have never done with it dry and she had to dig through mounds of hair to search. I promise you she was praying even harder than I was that she would find nothing in my hair because the amount of work involved in ridding me of lice would be ridiculous!
There are plenty of tips online on how to get rid of lice. I recommend reading them all to ensure you have covered all of the necessary steps at home and then considering going to a clinic to ensure you have truly rid patient zero of their lice. There are clinics all around the city and of course, services that come to your home but that is not an inexpensive proposition. While the Lice Squad is a PTPA winner, I paid full price for my services so am not writing this simply to promote them. I’m writing it so when you get that dreaded phone call, you know that peace of mind is just a phone call away.