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Let’s talk about that taboo topic Headlice 

I’ve gone back and forth over whether to right this post, mainly because of the stigma that can surround the subject. Then I thought don’t be daft, it’s not talking about such things that create that stigma.

So in going to start with saying;

“My names Katy and my kids have had Nits”.

Not just once either, I’d say between them one of them have come home from nursery or school with unwanted visitors about once a year.

Considering my kids have been in some form of schooling for ten years now I consider myself at bit of a pro at getting rid of the little blighters (that’s the Nits not the kids)!

Now that the kids have started back at school it’s time to be on high alert again for those little visitors. I thought that now would be a good time to dispel some of the myths surrounding Headlice and share how I have successfully treated my kids hair.

  • Only dirty children get Nits. This is not the case at all. A Nit doesn’t care whether you child is clean or dirty. All they are interested in the warm cosy climate and source of food your child’s scalp and barnet provides.
  • Only girls with long hair get Nits. Nope sorry mums of boy’s this is not true. It’s just a lot easier when it comes to treating a boy’s head than a girl with loads of hair.
  • Only kids get Nit’s Oh if only this were true! Think about it though all thoughs cuddles with your kiddies mean contact and the perfect oportunity for passing on an infestation. Yup I’ve had em as an adult thanks to being a mum. Glamorous!! So don’t forget to check your hair also.
  • Nits can jump – Thankfully this is not true, could you imagine though if it was? Headlines can only actually be passed on by direct contact.

Some of those myths dispelled, here’s how I have learnt to deal with headlice.

  • I have got in to the habit of checking my kids hair once a week for any signs of a Nit problem. Spotting a potential case early is half the battle.
  • There are loads of different formulas available for treating nits. I have found what works best though for us is the traditional old school style leave in lotion. I have always used Hedrin 4% Lotion £11.50.

 

image credit hedrin.co.uk

This is what Hedrin say about the product and how it’s active ingredient Dimeticone works.

Head lice have a unique strategy of water management. Instead of producing urine they eliminate excess water via tiny passages in their exoskeleton called spiracles. The active ingredient Dimeticone, a silicone oil, disrupts this process of water management by coating the lice, causing them to become permanently immobile, and blocking the spiracles preventing them from getting rid of excess water. As a result, any lice that have recently fed suffer from death by gut rupture and, the ones that haven’t, die of starvation.

The reasons that I like this lotion, apart from the fact that it works are that it has no horrible smell and is kind to the skin.

It is worth bearing in mind that you MUST repeat the treatment 7 days after the first application so that you break the Headlice life cycle. This treatment will not kill the eggs.

  • I like to also go through the kids hair with a comb. I use the Nitty Gritty comb. Priced at £8.99 it is more expense than other combs but it is the best comb available.  

This was developed by mums who know how hard it is to treat headlice. The comb has been lazer cut from durable metal so that it removed all lice and eggs. Even those live eggs I talked about earlier.

I find it helps to use the comb after washing the hair and using a detangling spray.

  • Use a tea trea oil shampoo and conditioner. Vosene Kids £2.49 is  developed especially for kids and contains natural Headlice repellents tea tree oil and lemon eucalyptus,  sometimes prevention is better than cure.
  • Wash bedding on a hotwash as eggs can survive on pillows etc. if hatched this means they could find there way back.
  • Tell the school if you do find you have an outbreak at home. They will let other parents know so that they can check their kids hair. If your worried about the stigma attached don’t worry the school don’t name who has it.

So that is how I have learnt to effectively treat headlice after having had to deal with it my fair share of times.

Personally I think we would have less of a problem in our schools if the Nit nurse was brought back to school for regular checks, this is what happened when I was a child and I don’t recall cases of headlice being so common. That is a whole debate for another occasion though.

Have you any tips or tricks for treating headlice?
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