The Four-Letter L Word

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Lice! It’s one of those dreaded things parents cross their fingers they won’t have to deal with, but lately parents in my area of town are dealing with it … again and again.

That’s the thing with lice – when it hits one child, it usually scurries on over to other siblings, classmates and friends.

A few things I’ve learned about treating lice after a class at my child’s daycare went through it, and after talking to a neighbor and a co-worker through their ordeals with the little mite that makes parents want to say a few choice four-letter words.

1. Lice are more attracted to clean hair than dirty hair. So it’s a myth to equate getting lice with bad hygiene.

2. Lice do not jump off a person’s head onto a pillow onto another head. Don’t get me wrong, you need to wash all your bedding and anything a person with lice has layed his or her head on, but lice “glue” themselves onto hair shafts and thrive in a symbiotic relationship with the hair owner, so a pillow just isn’t where they want to be.

3. Special shampoos don’t always do the trick. Seems that lice are becoming super lice and developing resistance to the insecticides in lice-ridding hair products. Best remedy is to comb them out with a fine-toothed metal comb. 

4. Lice do not always make your head itch. Just writing that makes me scratch my head, but truly your head may not itch when you have lice, so if it’s going around in your child’s class or other setting, just do an occasional head check.

This article on untangling myths of lice is a good one. If your child gets lice, don’t pull your hair out, but instead start combing.