In a little over a week, all over this fine country, our future leaders will be starting for the first time or returning to school. Among myriad of traits, they will learn to socialize, analyze, be creative, play, communicate, rationalize, organize and follow direction.
This is a time of great joy for many (Moms and Dads included), and the fear of homework for many others. School sports, drama, music, languages and the dreaded pediculosis humanus capitus, the blood sucking ectoparasitic creepy crawly that makes it's home on the scalp of your child.
Head lice, such a commonality in most, if not all schools. These unwelcome, blood sucking pariahs have been on the upswing the past 20 or 30 years, mainly because of their amazing ability to adapt and the loss of effectiveness of most of the poisonous and cancer causing pesticides used to treat them.
There are many myths associated with these little creatures. One in particular is that "dirty" people and children get them and spread them. This belief has been debunked. Pediculosis actually prefer clean hair. The 'glue' they produce and use to secure their eggs to the hair shaft cannot be secured properly on greasy hair. They seek out clean hair in order to survive. They also seem to have a preference for lighter coloured hair. Although children with darker hair absolutely can become infested too, lighter hair is a great camouflage for their eggs (nits).
There is no shame in your child contracting lice. Yes, they're disgusting. Yes, they're yucky. Yes, they're drinking your childs blood. But, they are truly just a nuisance. Extra laundering, extra combing, extra diligence in trying to eradicate them....and this can surely be a huge task if you have more than one child, as these creatures spread like wildfire. But again, and I firmly believe this, NO SHAME!
So let's get back to elimination...Many moons ago when I worked as an Educational Assistant, our small classroom had a vast infestation. Ontario schools used to hand out a product called Kwellada. This pesticide laden shampoo worked wonders. What they didn't warn is that many of the chemicals in the product were linked to cancer. So things changed. Warning labels were added, and users were no longer to apply to children under 5. This changed a few times over the years, with usage ages rising. They, the manufacturers/public health etc...knew the dangers outweighed the benefits. New, not so dangerous lice shampoos emerged on the market, but they just weren't as effective. I remember my grandmother telling me that after WWll, kerosene was poured on children's heads to try to eradicate them. It's amazing the lengths people will go to!!
I'd like to offer hope, and a few completely safe AND frugal alternatives to the Nix (another poison shampoo) currently sold in drug stores....
#1 Good Old Mayonnaise
Slather mayo from root to tip, 1/2 a cup minimum, and place either a shower cap or towel on the hair. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour, wash hair normally and rinse with white vinegar. Do not rinse out the vinegar. It loosens the nit glue, making it much easier for the next step. Use a nit comb to remove eggs and dispose of them in a tissue, then flush. The mayo smothers live lice, but does not kill nits. This treatment will have to be performed for a few days in a row, then repeated in 7 days for 2 or 3 days. Mayonnaise has the added benefit of highly moisturizing the hair, not unlike a hot oil treatment.
Make certain to launder clothing, bedding and towels in HOT water and dry on the hottest, but safest temperature, so as not to damage clothing and bedding. As I stated earlier, this is merely a nuisance.
#2 Avoiding lice in the first place. It's absolutely Natural and Healthy for children to hug one another. Don't discourage this, as it is absolutely necessary for children to form bonds of friendship and to be loving towards one another, however, remind your kids not to share hats and coats (very easy transmission mode for adult lice). Let your children know that having lice is not a bad thing, but merely a pain in the butt. We absolutely do not want to encourage bullying, or instill fear, but rather show compassion and understanding. If you are well equipped with facts, your children will learn this and the negative 'stigma' is removed. Take a deep breath, and make it a spa day! If your kids have long hair, keep it tied up...pony tails etc...! And as a preventative measure, add tea tree oil and lavender to your regular shampoo. ALL ectoparasitic creatures (lice, bedbugs, fleas, ticks, scabies) seem to hate this combination of essential oils. Use shampoo with these oils throughout the school year. They really do deter these pests.
This blog is not meant to scare you or your children. It is meant to educate and inform. My methods are not guaranteed, however, they have worked 100% for me and everyone I've shared with over the years. They are 100% safe and non toxic. If you or your children have allergies to mayo or its ingredients or the essential oils mentioned do not try this method.
**Mayo referred to in this blog is NOT Miracle Whip. Try Hellmann's/ No Name etc...look for REAL mayo only.
If you have any questions, please ask me. If you need help, please ask me. If you need organic lavender or tea tree essential oils, they're available through my website.
All the best for a Wonder Filled 2019-2020 school year!