WWYD...Head LICE!!! And Social Issues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sooo...We got a lovely surprise yesterday morning. My 5 Yo (who is home schooled) has been itching his head a lot the last few days. We thought maybe he just got really sweaty and so we washed his hair the first day...well today he was itching again so I looked in his hair and OMG he was INFESTED with LICE :

He has been playing with the kids next door a bunch lately, so we went over there to let them know that DS has lice. They were not surprised at all...they said that their kids have had it for a while...they have been battling it...and that they had been thinking about telling us...:
He has been playing at their house and they have been playing over here. :

We are dropping everything else and getting rid of the lice. DH is taking the day off so that we can deal with this appropriatly.

We really want DS to be able to play with the neighbor kids...they are great and their parents are really nice. but we can't keep getting lice and it seems like they are not able to get rid of the lice. I would love to help them resolve the problem but I can't think of how I could do that tactfully.
I just don;t know what to do...hoping some of you have BTDB with the lice thing and can offer some advice for how to deal with the neighbor kids.
I am so frustrated because the family is really great and our kids LOVE playing together.
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#2 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Buy a good lice comb. When he comes home, comb his hair out. If one gets in you will get it out right away. Lice go around all the time here and it's really not the big deal it seems to be in the states. I just comb, comb, comb until they are gone.

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#3 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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Holy carp! I cannot believe they let your ds come over when they had lice.

There are a lot of treatments you can use for him. First though, check everyone else in your house. It's likely that he's not the only one with them.

Then go get a good lice comb to use. When my kids had lice (given to us by a "friend") we covered their heads in olive oil and combed until every nit was out. Get a shampoo that has tea tree oil in it, like Jason, or just wash their hair with tea tree oil.

You'll need to wash everything in hot water, blankets, sheets, towels, clothes, etc until all of the lice are gone.

With the boys, we shaved their heads. Dd had them for longer, probably because we wouldn't cut her hair off.

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#4 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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Once you figure out how you have gotten rid of them, share how you did it with them. Maybe even offer them the left over product you have.

A neem oil mixture is suppose to work really well. It's totally safe also, you should check it out.
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#5 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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I just think that is rude not to let you know that they had lice. I know that lice are becoming immune to chemicals and they are harder to get rid of (I just read an article about it), but that is no excuse not to let you know. I would do as the pp said and share with them how to get rid of it, until then if you let you child go over there you will just be passing them back and forth.
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#6 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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My DD had lice a couple of months ago. She caught them at preschool.
I treated her hair and combed, combed, combed for hours but we had a really hard time getting rid of them.

DD's wonderful preschool teacher told me to make sure that all the eggs have gone as well as all the lice. The eggs do not all come off with the comb. So I sat for about 1hr 30mins with DD picking by hand all the teeny tiny eggs out of her hair. The lice have not returned.
DD was not keen on this but we put her favourite DVD on and I was very gentle.
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#7 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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We've had them three times.

We found olive oil most easy and effective -- working it though our hair and using the nit-comb, then coating our hair really good with the oil, then tying plastic bags on our heads for a few hours (four I think) before we rinsed it out, and then repeating this eight days later.

I washed our pillow-cases every day during this time, and that was it. Well, the first time I washed all our bedding daily, too -- but a friend told me the lice really don't get that far away from a warm head, so washing the pillow-cases should suffice. And it did. We haven't had lice for 3 years now.

The first time, we coated our hair with Vaseline for 8 days straight -- but that's a bit extreme, and it's super hard to get back out of your hair. Now I'd just do the olive-oil and nit-comb treatment, rinse, and repeat 8 days later. And just go on about our lives as usual.

I sure wouldn't end a friendship over it. When my oldest played frequently with girls from a family that seemed to "always" have lice, I started using tea-tree oil. Another friend whose girls were always getting lice, just started keeping their hair coated with olive oil. We're out-of-touch with them now (our friends who "always/often" had lice), so I haven't used the oil, but am just quick to check for bugs if anyone's scratching her head.

I wouldn't be so angry about them not saying anything (though they should have). Some people really do freak if they know you've "ever" had lice. A while back, my mom called in a frenzy because her cat had lice, and she had it, too. I told her if the cat had it it was most likely fleas, since cats don't get lice.

But she and my brother (who lives with her) were just sure it was lice, and even though I told her we hadn't had it for a long time, Mom didn't seem to believe me. Since we'd let the family know when we had it before, we were "branded" for life, I guess.

My sister's girls both had it back when they were kids -- but they didn't get branded in the same way, I guess because they used the Rid and didn't "fool around" with homeopathic remedies. Since everyone knew I was using Vaseline (the first time ... we didn't even discuss it with family the other times), and my sister checked with her doctor who said she'd never heard of Vaseline as a treatment, I guess they were just sure we never really got rid of it.

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#8 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the replies!

We are well under way with our treatment...we used a product called Lice Freee that came with a really good comb. DS has really curly long hair...it is almost an afro...so combing through has been no fun.

Today we put a Mayonnaise and Tee Tree oil combo on his head, wrapped it in plastic wrap for a couple hours, and now we are back to combing again. We bought him a new Wii game and Grandma has been playing it with him while I comb and comb. It seems that there is no end to the nits.
We also Ironed our mattresses (the heat is supposed to destroy bugs)and replaced our pillows. We are lucky that DS #1 is the only one who has it.

I understand why the neighbors didn't tell us but I do feel like it is really selfish of them. They are also sending all of the kids to school etc so who knows HOW many other families will get infected. They told me that over the counter lice remedies don't work. I am thinking that they are not getting all of the eggs out of their house.

I don't want the friendship to end over this but it does seem like a deal breaker if they can't get it under control. I can't have kids with lice playing in my home, yk? We will just keep on getting it. The whole thing is frustrating! I can't understand how you just let your kids have lice??


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#9 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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We got lice several times when I was a kid. My sister went to a fancy private school and many of the parents refused to believe that their children could have lice so it just kept going around the school. My sister still refers to her school as a "lice trap!" So as an experienced lice sufferer may I offer the following advice: OP, don't just treat your DS everyone in your family may have it and if you don't all treat it you'll start giving it back and forth to each other. Also you'd be wise to tell anyone who has been in your house or spends time with your DS as they could have it too. The best way to prevent it from coming back is to make sure every one who could have been exposed treats themselves and cleans their house. In addition to our bedding we also used to clean the tops and backs of any furniture that was covered in fabric. Or put clean towels over the furniture for a few days.

Lice is a bummer! Sorry you're going through this.
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#10 of 172 Old 09-15-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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I would definitely speak up and say "I prefer to know when your kids are sick or have lice in the future. I'll do the same for you guys."

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#11 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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If your neighbors complaint is that the over the counter remedies are not working, maybe share your alternative ideas that work (mayonnaise, olive oil, even baby oil). How many children do they have? Maybe offer to help (it's got to be hard for a mom to comb all the lice out of her hair - never mind how embarrassing dealing with headlice can be, ykwim?). Do a 'de-licing ' party. Help them get a handle on it. Then it helps BOTH of your households solve a problem and continues a friendship.

And, definitely, add tea tree oil to your shampoo, and suggest they do the same.

Sorry, it sucks, and I'm sorry that they're not handling themselves well.
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#12 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 03:55 AM
 
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I'd just be up-front with them -- say something like, "The kids are excited to play again, but it'll have to wait until this lice thing is under control because they were a big pain to get rid of. I came across some tips that seemed to work pretty well -- do you want me to pass them on to you?"

Although it was rude of them not to inform you about the lice in the first place, it doesn't have to be an uncomfortable situation at this point -- just approach it from the standpoint of working together to solve the problem.

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#13 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 04:56 AM
 
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Baseball caps or bandanas. There is no reason to end a friendship!

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#14 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 05:27 AM
 
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I have to say, I'm shocked at how many people don't routinely check their children's heads for lice. Almost every single parent I know over here wetcombs at least once a week- we do the boys every two days now, Skye every single day. By breaking their legs, it eliminates the possibility of the little blighters breeding. It's not a perfect solution, but prevention is way better than cure.
OP, given that your child's head is crawling with them, the chances are just as good that your kid passed it to the neighbouring family and picked it up at homeschooling group. Lice are nothing to be snobby about, y'know? Certainly the chances are that the reason the family next door couldn't clear them is because your kid kept reinfecting them.

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#15 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 05:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
I have to say, I'm shocked at how many people don't routinely check their children's heads for lice. Almost every single parent I know over here wetcombs at least once a week- we do the boys every two days now, Skye every single day. By breaking their legs, it eliminates the possibility of the little blighters breeding. It's not a perfect solution, but prevention is way better than cure.
OP, given that your child's head is crawling with them, the chances are just as good that your kid passed it to the neighbouring family and picked it up at homeschooling group. Lice are nothing to be snobby about, y'know? Certainly the chances are that the reason the family next door couldn't clear them is because your kid kept reinfecting them.
Can you explain the bit I bolded?
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#16 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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I have to say, I'm shocked at how many people don't routinely check their children's heads for lice.
Well, I never check because ds has never had them. I know I'd notice pretty quick since ds is always climbing on my lap and his head is in my face half the day. My only personal experience with lice is my sister had them once (one out of seven kids in our family). I occasionally check for ticks, though.

I certainly wouldn't end the relationship if I had a great family next door. The neighbor would probably appreciate some help and suggestions, politely offered. I imagine it's hard dealing with delicing multiple kids, washing all the bedding, throw pillows, and what not,

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#17 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 10:49 AM
 
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ROBI COMB!!!!!

Seriously, check it out. Greatest thing ever, and it totally works. It's a battery-operated comb that zaps the bugs and kills them. You use it daily for about 10 days, to get the nymphs as soon as they hatch. If your kids are over at the neighbors, you can literally run the robi comb through their hair before they come inside and zap anything that climbed in there. It is really diagnostic, too, cuz you can't find every little bug with your eyes (and so it's easy to miss lice early on), but the robi comb will find it even if you have just one bug.

best thing since sliced bread, seriously.
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#18 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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ROBI COMB!!!!!

Seriously, check it out. Greatest thing ever, and it totally works. It's a battery-operated comb that zaps the bugs and kills them. You use it daily for about 10 days, to get the nymphs as soon as they hatch. If your kids are over at the neighbors, you can literally run the robi comb through their hair before they come inside and zap anything that climbed in there. It is really diagnostic, too, cuz you can't find every little bug with your eyes (and so it's easy to miss lice early on), but the robi comb will find it even if you have just one bug.

best thing since sliced bread, seriously.
That looks awesome! I went to a site to check it out, and to get a general idea of the price so that next time we have some extra cash we can buy one to keep on hand (it's not something you want to wait a few days on when your child actually has lice!) - but I can't make much sense of whether the $1.40-something is just explaining that that's how many U.S. dollars equal $1.00 British currency -- or if that's the actual cost of the product?

It would seem that something so wonderful must cost more than one-and-a-half American dollars, you know! Is anyone able to make sense of the pricing -- just so we have an idea and can keep it in mind?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#19 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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Lice are nothing to be snobby about, y'know?
^A big Yeah That!

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#20 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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http://www.liceguard.com/robicomb.aspx

It's on sale here for $29.95 US. I agree, a great thing to just have on hand especially with school-aged kids.
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#21 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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Thanks for letting me know about the price! I definitely want to get one as soon as we can. I'm glad someone has come up with this product!

And, again, I agree with flapjack that lice are so common now, it's better to just keep an eye on our kids' hair. While people "should" let you know if they're dealing with lice (and I've called parents of children my oldest had just played with, when we've discovered that she had lice in the past), I can fully understand how a parent could just be on overload, and not feel like telling people.

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#22 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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Comb, comb, comb. If you get the varmints off before night falls you will get them before they hunker down to lay eggs.

Keep their hair up or plaited or as a pp said wear a bandana or cap then comb their hair as soon as they come back home.

You can pick out the eggs if you like or just comb a lot to comb out the tiny hatchlings as they pop.

Shaving hair to less than 2cm is also good because they can't survive very close to the scalp as it is too warm and they won't lay eggs there either.

If your child's head is crawling with varmints of all sizes then it is likely that he has had them for a while. Thick or curly hair is what we call a 5 star hotel for lice and my my boys were real holiday destinations when they were younger. Dd on the other hand has very fine hair and if she ever has a nit I can see it!

I would shake out bedding but I don't think a boil wash for everything is necessary. We have experimented with lice and found that if you leave them on a piece of tissue in a jar they don't live for more than a day. Eggs don't hatch off the head either as far as we could see.
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#23 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to say, I'm shocked at how many people don't routinely check their children's heads for lice. Almost every single parent I know over here wetcombs at least once a week- we do the boys every two days now, Skye every single day. By breaking their legs, it eliminates the possibility of the little blighters breeding. It's not a perfect solution, but prevention is way better than cure.
OP, given that your child's head is crawling with them, the chances are just as good that your kid passed it to the neighbouring family and picked it up at homeschooling group. Lice are nothing to be snobby about, y'know? Certainly the chances are that the reason the family next door couldn't clear them is because your kid kept reinfecting them.
I am not being snobby about it. I don;t think I have said anything that implies snobbishness. I just don't want to have bugs living in my kids heads!! I certainly got lice when I was a kid and I understand that anyone can get them...it is just that MOST people get RID Of them. Also, here in the States our lice are chemical resistant and very difficult to kill. We spent 2 DAYS doing nothing but delousing our child and our home. DH missed a day of work and we have spent about $30 on products. And I know that it is far from being over. WE are going to do everything again this weekend. In the meanwhile poor DS is cooped up in the house because I don't want to expose anyone else. He doesn't get to play with any of his friends.

We have been home a LOT the last month or so. No one else we know has it. The family said they have had it for a long time. I am not sure how that translates into my son giving it to them??
Yes he had a lot of them but they are gone now. Also their there are 5 PEOPLE in the other house that ALL have them, yet DS is the only person in our household who has them. He just started itching a week ago.
These kids have been playing together EVERY DAY for about 5-9 hours each day for the last 6 weeks. That is running back and forth between our houses.
WE KNOW for a FACT that it started with them and I think it is really rude to let your kids go to someone's house every day (and allow their child in your house) and never mention that you have lice.

We don;t go to homeschooling groups, we haven't been on public transportation, airplanes. movie theaters NOTHING.

I would have been checking for lice if I would have known that we were exposed to it. But since we have been home, ds isn't in school and hasn't been going around groups of children I had NO IDEA.
I didn't realize that people think it is okay to just expose others to Lice!


I am planning to try and help them by offering suggestions and help, but I am worried that these people are just kinda okay with having it. Does no one else think it's a problem that these kids are going to school with it too???
I just cannot relate to this AT ALL.

I think it is SELFISH

ETA the other way we know ds didn't have the lice very long is that we only found large adults and small eggs. We didn't find tons of babies etc...
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#24 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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http://www.liceguard.com/robicomb.aspx

It's on sale here for $29.95 US. I agree, a great thing to just have on hand especially with school-aged kids.
That's kind of cool, but to use that every day when I can just use a tea tree, mint, or rosemary shampoo daily to repel them instead seems like a lot of trouble, yk?

We had a terrible lice problem at school, and when we switched to a tea tree and mint shampoo we never brought them home again.

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#25 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's kind of cool, but to use that every day when I can just use a tea tree, mint, or rosemary shampoo daily to repel them instead seems like a lot of trouble, yk?

We had a terrible lice problem at school, and when we switched to a tea tree and mint shampoo we never brought them home again.
This is what we are going to do from now on.

I am thinking about the ROBI comb for weekly checks for a while. Especially until we know that the neighbors have gotten rid of it.

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#26 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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Also, here in the States our lice are chemical resistant and very difficult to kill. We spent 2 DAYS doing nothing but delousing our child and our home. DH missed a day of work and we have spent about $30 on products. And I know that it is far from being over. WE are going to do everything again this weekend. In the meanwhile poor DS is cooped up in the house because I don't want to expose anyone else. He doesn't get to play with any of his friends.
I can understand how, it being your first time and all, you might end up spending a lot of time and money treating this.

But, for future reference, it doesn't have to be such a big expenditure, and your dh doesn't have to miss a day of work or anything. We live in the States, too -- but though American lice are now chemical resistant, I haven't heard of any not dying after being smothered for 4 hours in olive oil -- sealed in with a plastic bag.

And though we used a nit-comb, that probably didn't get rid of all the nits. That's why we waited 8 days and did the olive oil again, to kill all the bugs that would have hatched from any remaining eggs (the new bugs don't mature and lay eggs 'til around 21 days). Again, washing pillow-cases sufficed for us, in that we've been lice-free for 3 years.

We didn't have money to replace pillows, and didn't do any treatment on mattresses or furniture. But now that I know about ironing killing them, that sounds like an effective and easy solution just to be extra sure. Also shaking out the bedding every morning sounds like a good idea.

Maybe one reason the olive-oil worked for us, was that we did all our hair at the same time.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#27 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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I totally understand what you're saying, dubfam.

I don't know if it's a cultural thing or what, but around here if someone gets lice, it commands the total attention of the family until the problem is taken care of -- it's not something to just live with. I'd be frustrated too if neighbors my kids played with seemed to have a blase attitude about it.

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#28 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I totally understand what you're saying, dubfam.

I don't know if it's a cultural thing or what, but around here if someone gets lice, it commands the total attention of the family until the problem is taken care of -- it's not something to just live with. I'd be frustrated too if neighbors my kids played with seemed to have a blase attitude about it.
I think it depends on what you've been through with lice.

Back, the summer after I was in 8th grade, our area got hit with a round of lice that were resistant to every chemical on the market. All the kids in the neighborhood had lice, nothing was fully killing it, and this went on for 3 months. We went through all the on-the-market shampoos, all the oil-type solutions, and finally my mom chopped off all our hair to our ears (4 girls) and resorted to using a nit comb every morning and evening to keep the lice limited in number. (Also, we went to the point of only washing our hair once a week.) We washed, steamed-cleaned, dry-cleaned the whole house. And, as I said, we weren't the only family dealing with this.

At the beginning of this all, my mom was in the "keep everyone in house" mode, but you can't sustain that for months on end.
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#29 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I totally understand what you're saying, dubfam.

I don't know if it's a cultural thing or what, but around here if someone gets lice, it commands the total attention of the family until the problem is taken care of -- it's not something to just live with. I'd be frustrated too if neighbors my kids played with seemed to have a blase attitude about it.
Well, in our case, giving it our total attention actually took care of it pretty quickly. But I've had some friends who for some reason just kept getting it. I'm not saying people "should" get a blase attitude, but maybe they've just come up against so many dead-ends trying to get rid of it in the conventional way.

To the point where they've decided they just don't have the time and energy to devote their whole life and being to lice. I think knowing some easy alternatives would help. I'm so glad I looked into homeopathic remedies when we had our first bout with lice, they're so much more effective.

Years ago, before I had my own family, I had a friend with a large family who finally said, "That shampoo is so harmful, I'm not going to just keep using it over and over." She still went through her kids' hair with nit-combs, and periodically used the shampoo, but for a while she just gave up on ever getting completely rid of it, she just tried to keep it to a minimum, if that makes sense.

I don't "condone" the blase attitude -- but I can still understand it, and have empathy for parents that are just overwhelmed.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#30 of 172 Old 09-16-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I think it depends on what you've been through with lice...

At the beginning of this all, my mom was in the "keep everyone in house" mode, but you can't sustain that for months on end.
So true!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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