This is the article no one wants to read — let alone write. But this is my public service announcement after our experience with lice (ughhhhh). Gross, but true. After teaching school for over a decade, it was being a mom that forced me to tackle lice head on (pun intended, phenomenal disgust included).
You’ve heard it all — getting lice is not an indicator of cleanliness, lice doesn’t spread disease, blah, blah, blah. Let me share with you what I learned so you don’t have to make all my mistakes. And hopefully, we can all avoid this nightmare!
Check your children WEEKLY
Where was this information? I obviously checked my kids when the lice notices would come home from school, but weekly? I never knew. Lice are not white (that’s dandruff or fuzz), they’re crawling little creepers (I know, I can barely even type it!), and nits look like strawberry seeds. If you do check once a week, you’ll catch it early on and get it out fast.
Check with a nice nit brush (best investment ever)
Here’s another one no one told me (where was my mom tribe on this, ladies?). This is the brush you want — use it after bath time once a week. Yep, add that to your list of super fun things about parenting, like nail clipping and other maintenance you never imagined being part of your daily life. There were no itchy heads in our house, so how were we to know? We now check daily by eye, and weekly by nit brush. Join me in these efforts, and don’t wait for a letter from school to remind you.
If you do get lice, get professional help or this brush
I wish I had known about lice salons from the start! We tried to clear everything out ourselves. We checked into a hotel (ya know, the lice-die-after-some-time-get-me-out-of-my-house type of panic). I wish we had booked it straight to the Lice Aunties. Another Boston Moms Blog pal shared that she didn’t want to throw all her money at this problem, so she used this brush — cheaper and better than toxic chemicals!
Don’t fall for certain products as a safety net
We used lice spray and tea tree oil every day and still got it. I seriously thought we were never going to endure this plague (which is evidently as common as a cold, so no public shaming needed here). I wish we hadn’t thought that the spray and essential oils were so effective. Wanna know what does work? Check weekly (or every night, casually, like I do, and weekly with the nit brush), and wear braids or buns for longer hair. Don’t share brushes. Don’t share hats. Don’t let your kids rub heads. Maybe don’t leave the house.
Sorry! Now go check yourself and your kids — STAT.
So that happened. Do you have any other tips? Please, pretty please, comment below, because I really don’t want to do this again.