The second my kids get home from school I smother them with approximately 375 kisses. Then I bombard them with approximately 375 questions about their day: what did they learn, what did they eat, did they miss me–you know, the usual. Finally, I go through their bookbags because I love seeing their artwork and their worksheets from the day. However, there is one thing that comes home and can strike fear into every single parent: the dreaded letter!
It has been brought to our attention that a child in your son or daughter’s
class has LICE…..panic NOW!
When I get “the dreaded letter” my first instinct is pretty rational: burn down the house…burn it all. But the good news is we can all put down our torches because if our kiddos do bring home more than just a few math worksheets from school, we can tackle and get rid of lice with a little help from over the counter products.
Here are a few things you need to know about lice–try not to scratch your head every time I write that word––
- According to the CDC, there are about 6-12 million cases of head lice each year in this country and it’s most common with preschool and elementary school aged kids. That’s a lot of bugs!
- Cleanliness actually has nothing to do with getting lice–so ignore that old wives’ tale. In fact, lice tends to favor a clean scalp.
- The very first time kids get infested they sometimes don’t get irritated. So there is no itching! This can go on for a few weeks, and when you do figure it out your child has lice, there are whole lotta lice.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: Head lice are tiny insects, about the size of a sesame seed (2–3 mm long). Their bodies are usually pale and gray.
- Head lice feed on tiny amounts of blood from the scalp and if they’re not on a person’s scalp, they can usually only survive about a day.
- Head lice live about 28 days.
- They can multiply quickly, laying up to 10 eggs a day. It only takes about 12 days for newly hatched eggs to reach adulthood. This cycle can repeat itself every 3 weeks if head lice are left untreated.
Now we know more about these pesky bugs, let’s find out how to get rid of them if they take up residency in our kid’s heads–note: burning down your house is not on this list.
- It’s important to do a really thorough daily COMB to keep pulling out nits. So be sure to do both
- If you’ve followed the directions and treated the lice with OTC treatments two or more times and STILL have lice, talk to your pediatrician and your child’s school to create a plan to get rid of the lice.
Stay strong, parents. We can fight lice. Lice doesn’t have to win. Lice doesn’t have to creep you out–OK, actually does. Lice will always creep me out because *scratches head* it’s lice after all.
This post is sponsored by the CHPA educational foundation,KnowYourOTCs.org but all opinions are my own.