Battling Lice While Keeping Your Sanity

Lice  happens, but you can keep your sanity with the right tools and knowledge as you battle lice in your own life.

It happened. It finally happened to my family. The dreaded lice entered my daughter's hair and invaded my house. And I had no clue what to do! But we battled those bugs and kept our sanity at the same time. OK, most of our sanity has been saved. How did we get rid of lice in our house?

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It all happened on a Saturday morning while brushing my daughter's hair. I looked down, and there it was, staring at me, a little big louse. I caught it and now understood why my daughter said her head itched. I had searched every night in all the right places but never found anything.

What bothers me most is that TV shows make it look so simple. The other night I was watching Man With a Plan, and the kids had lice. They just put a shower cap on it and then they were done.

Oh, how I wish! The problem is, there is no silver bullet for lice.

It takes effort and time. The book Bugs in My Hair! by David Shannon really tells how lice need to be removed. It is me the past few weeks. It is my daughter the past few weeks. It's amazing that a children's book gave some of the best advice I have seen or heard.
I started out with the typical over the counter treatment to get rid of lice. I thought it would work, and you should have seen what I got out of my daughter's hair. I thought, "Yes, this is over!"

But I was wrong. I had to keep combing each day to keep the nits out, and there were tons. So, I tried another product that promised it would kill bugs and nits. I thought for sure I was done for sure. But I wasn't convinced. I needed a sure fire way to get rid of lice and still stay sane!

It's a good thing I wasn't convinced and would keep checking because 3 nights later, I found a bunch of nits, right in the top of her head. I got them out, broke down, and cried.

I was beginning to feel defeated. I had cleaned, combed, and let those lice take over my life. I needed help, and that's what I got.

Our school nurse had given us information about a local nurse who gets the lice out for you and does follow up visits. She teaches you how to keep the lice out and makes sure you are equipped with everything you need to be successful, with your own diligence. She dispelled myths I had heard and gave me peace of mind. Something I needed, so I could sleep at night again.

Here is what I learned about getting rid of lice:

1.  Most over the counter remedies do NOT work. After trying Rid, I tried Licefreee, hoping it would work. Neither of them worked, but they did help to get me started.

2.  Combing with conditioner is the BEST way to get those nits out. I purchased the Nit Free Terminator comb, and it has proven to get more lice out out of our hair than any other comb.
3.  The life cycle of lice is important in helping to keep them away. They can't live more than about 48 hours without food. So, once they are off of your head, they can't live long. Baby lice (nymphs) can't live more than a couple of hours without food. And the nits are going nowhere unless you comb or pull them out.

Lice like to live near the scalp to stay warm. Most won't leave the scalp to hang out on your couch. Head to head contact or sharing hair implements is the most likely way to transmit lice. And stuffed animals only need to be put away for a couple of days, not a couple of weeks. (We've kept ours put away longer because they aren't all over our house right now. It's been nice to not step on the stuffed animals and toys.)

4. The dryer and freezer can become your best friends. High heat and freezing temperatures kill the little bugs. I put my daughter's favorite stuffed animal, brushes, and pillowcases in the freezer every morning. I dry everything on high heat now. I put pillows and stuffed animals and sheets in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes 40 minutes, just for my own sanity.

5.  Paying someone to do the removal of lice for me was well worth the money. I had some snow days to work on it all, but I still felt overwhelmed. Having someone check for me and get everything out gave me peace of mind that it is getting better. The battle was not over, but we were on the right track. Having that feeling is worth every penny!

So, before you put mayonnaise or olive oil and a shower cap on your head, do some research. Talk to someone who will help you understand what happens with lice and show you how to make it through this tough time with the right tools. Getting rid of lice is no easy battle, but it can be done with diligence, determination, and time.

Getting rid of lice is a battle that I will fear for the rest of my life, but I now know how to handle it and survive without losing my sanity.

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Lice  happens, but you can keep your sanity with the right tools and knowledge as you battle lice in your own life.

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