Lice, think your kids will never get them, think again! by Cathy Piso of Kids Vancouver.com

Daughter getting the lice check from Lice911I was warned by parents of my daughter’s friend that they had lice and to watch for it. I looked didn’t see anything, so I thought phew! I looked very quickly a week later nothing, time passed and I never thought about it again. My daughter is 7 and likes to brush her own hair, so I never got a real close-up over time. One day she was going for a play date and her hair looked un-brushed so I asked if I could do her hair brushing. As I went to brush her hair I saw something move and saw them on her scalp! My panic mode went on, what do I do? My daughter did not like the idea of something moving on her head and she was quite upset, crying in fact. We ran out to buy lice solution called Resultz - does not contain traditional insecticides and also I purchased a metal comb. We came home and put it on right away. You must massage into the scalp, I watched as lice that had died land on her towel. YUCK!

Little did I know that this solution does not kill the “Nits” which are eggs, I read through many internet sites and read that you have to “comb” out the eggs. I started to look through her hair and there was SO many, and the comb did not take them out, not the plastic one that came with the treatment and not the metal one I bought separately. The eggs are very “stuck” to the hair follicle, almost glue like. Feeling overwhelmed I asked friends on facebook what to do and someone suggested I try Lice 911. I had heard of them before but had not thought of them in the moment. I called and made an appointment for the very next day.

Now before you go crazy and throw EVERYTHING in the wash. DON’T. I did and was overwhelmed with laundry. Apparently lice can not live more than 24-48 hours off a human. Lice need human blood in order to survive. So think where has you or your kids gone in the last 2 days? Couches, beds, clothes and teddies those are your main concern.

Also you can bag up the items in place them in a garbage bag and put them say in the garage, again after 48 hours all the items should be fine, if you are worried leave them a couple extra days, some sites say up to 10 days? Many people told me that placing the items in the dryer would not work. But if you place the items for an hour at a very high temperature I am told by Lice 911 that it will work. I wish I had known that before I dumped the entire contents of my house on the laundry floor, lol. Vacuum, wash and bag!

The next day we went to Lice 911, and it is done out of the owners house but downstairs it looks like a doctors office and is was done very professionally. My daughter went first as after finding lice in hers; we realized I had it as well. I am thinking because we share brushes that is how I got them. Also can be transferred from head to head contact, so something as simple as a hug can transfer it. Sitting on furniture that an infested person has used can also do it. My daughter is also a big hugger!

Most boys do not get the lice as one their hair is shorter and two they do not do as much head to head contact as girls do.  I also read it is most common for girls in school from ages 3 to 11.

I had a itchy scalp, but I thought it was my psoriasis acting up again. My hubby even had checked my head twice and did not see them! I even went to a walk in clinic twice and they saw nothing and gave me a higher medication for my scalp! My daughter had not had any symptoms of itching, so just because you don’t itch doesn’t mean you do not have them!

LiceMeister CombMy daughter then sat at the chair at their “office” at Lice 911 and the Lice 911 lady with her head light and head magnifier added conditioner, yes conditioner to my daughter’s hair, very thick conditioner. She let us know that it slows the lice down and it’s hard for them to breath, so the conditioner is the best product to use. She combed with a special comb called The Lice Meister Comb. It has long teeth to the comb and you can not see through the teeth which makes it a good comb.

She clipped up my daugher's hair in sections. She combed through sections one by one and wiped them on a cloth and then you can see the eggs on the towel. When she was all done she had I believe 10 babies, 1 live adult and 210 eggs. YIKES! So glad I went as I don’t think I could have got all of them! Next it was my turn. I had 32 eggs. I learned from them when they are “adults” they can have lay 3 to 8 eggs a day. I had counted over 22 adults in my daughter’s head the day before. Am I making you scratch your head now?

After we left we could have come back for follow up treatment, but thought we would tackle ourselves. If you do not return for treatment buy The LiceMeister Comb either from Lice 911 or from some stores such as some Pharmasaves, which can be hard to find however. They are not cheap and they run about $23-24 I believe, but worth every penny.

Check here to find a LiceMeister comb near you: http://www.headlice.org/licemeister/search/lice-search.html. We also bought a large magnifying glass to help find them, I figured you can always use it for science experiments afterwards! There is also a kit available from Lice 911 as well that is really great!

Every 3-4 days we have to check to make sure they are no eggs. I have since found 8 more eggs in her hair in two separate checks. We keep checking, last hair check there was none, but I will keep checking to make sure. You can make a choice to try medicated shampoos or other sources that is your decision and you have to keep combing through, as lice are becoming immune to these treatments so keep watch. But conditioner will do you just as good and is not toxic in any way.

Eggs do no harm, it’s when they become adults (1-2 weeks after they hatch). So it’s important to get all the eggs gone or you will just be repeating the process. Nits, which are eggs can hatch within 7 to 10 days. Make sure you stay on top of it before the process repeats itself.

I am very glad I went to Lice 911 as I learned a lot and now know what to do if it happens again. They made it simpler for me and less overwhelming. I do however wish I knew about all these details before this happened then it would not have been such an ordeal! Educate youself before it happens!

(P.S. - Lice 911 is not a sponsorship in anyway) and I am not a specialist in anyway.
 


What to do when you find it:
from (http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/childhood-illnesses/lice)

•  Disinfect household and personal objects –
•  Brushes and combs can either be washed in one of the medicated shampoos or soaked in hot water (more than 128 degrees F) for 10 minutes. Water that is close to boiling is plenty hot enough.
•  Pillow cases, sheets, hats, clothing worn in the past few days, coats and ornamental hair clips and ribbons can be machine washed in the hot cycle then dried on the hot cycle.
•  Anything that cannot be washed can be tied up in a garbage back and placed in the closet. This will kill any lice or eggs.
•  Vacuum the bedroom, sofa, bed and pillows will get rid of any stray lice.
•  Check your child's scalp every 2 to 3 days for any new lice or nits. Use a nit comb.
You do not need to go all out and disinfect the entire house. You don't need to wash all your child's clothes. You don't need to have the house fumigated.


Lice StagesMyths & Facts:

  • Lice like dirty heads, not true. They actually prefer clean, but not always!
  • Lice can’t jump, but they can move very quickly.
  • Human head lice do not thrive on pets.
  • It has nothing to do with hygiene
  • Lice does not only occur in lower socioeconomic classes or in certain minority races
  • Long hair does not increase your chance of catching lice – the only difficulty that long hair poses is that it is harder to find lice and nits in long hair.
  • All children with lice scratch or itch. Fact: Initial infestation may produce no signs or symptoms for 4-6 weeks.
  • Lice live in carpets, beds, clothes, and sofas Fact: lice can only live for 24-48 hours away from a human host
  • Lice die immediately after treatment Fact: lice may take several hours to die following treatment
  • One treatment is enough. Fact: due to loss of residual activity of pediculosides, two treatments are recommended to kill newly hatched nymphs
  • Everyone in the family should be treated. Fact: only those with a proven infestation should be treated, although everyone should be checked daily to weekly


More info from Lice 911:
Head Lice: Head Lice vary in color from translucent to black and are about the size of a sesame seed. Lice do not jump or fly. They have claws on their six legs, which allow them to move quickly through hair. Female lice can lay up to 8 nits a day and are larger than males.
 
Nymphs:
Nymphs are immature head lice. Nymphs are about the size of a pinhead and look like an adult louse. They must feed on blood to survive and molts 3 times in a week before becoming an adult.
 
Nits:
Nits vary in color from clear to brownish-gray and are about 1/2 the size of a sesame seed. They are usually found close to the scalp. Dandruff or hair casts are commonly mistaken for nits but they are irregularly shaped and easily dislodged. Nits are always the same shape and are glued firmly to one side of the hair shaft. They are commonly found around the ears and at the nape of the neck.

Lice 911 is based out of Maple Ridge but also make house visits for an additional fee. LICE911 is Canada's only all-natural head lice removal and education agency. Visit http://www.lice911.com for more information.