As a hairdresser, this is the time of year I start thinking about kids, back to school and head lice. When a child gets head lice I call it, “a mother’s nightmare”! Just talking about this I’m getting itchy. When I have a client at work that has them, I get really itchy! The power of suggestion!
One piece of advice I can give, be diligent about checking your child for head lice or nits as soon as they start school. If they scratch their head once, check them so you don’t have a household epidemic on your hands, “a mother’s nightmare”. Lice, plural for Louse are the actual bugs and nits are their eggs.
When you check your child, look for something that looks like dandruff. Dandruff will move when touched, a nit will not. It clings onto the hair shaft and literally has to be scraped off. Check the warmer area’s of the scalp such as behind the ear and the nape of the neck.
I’d like to debunk a couple of old beliefs. Head lice do not jump or fly. The only way a bug will fly is if you scratch so hard you fling it onto someone. A louse has claw like legs that enable them to crawl up the hair shaft. Second, you don’t get head lice from being dirty.
One out of ten children will contract head lice and the most common ages are 4 to 14 years old.
The reason I call this “a mother’s nightmare” is, because if you don’t catch this right away the whole family can get head lice. The head and scalp have to be treated with a medication to treat the live louse and the nits have to be combed out.
A medal nit comb used on wet hair is the best. Persistence is required and it’s a good idea to comb through the whole head every three days because of the life cycle of the lice.
I can’t say this enough, combing out all the nits is key to getting rid of these pesky things and using the medicine to treat the live louse.
Everything and I mean everything then has to be cleaned, any place your child has been. Car, couch, bedding, stuffed animals, everything! This is where the “mother’s nightmare” comes in.
Tell your kids when school starts not to share, helmets, combs, brushes or hats and be sure to start checking your child as soon as school starts so you don’t have to deal with “the mother’s nightmare”.
Throughout my career I’ve seen many cases of head lice and because of that, it has made me very aware of my surroundings. When I go to the movie’s I always brush down the chair before I sit in it! Just a little paranoid, but that’s how bad I don’t want head lice!
Judy DeLuca’s Latest Novel
Towel Dry and a Good Cry is about a young girl, new to the hairdressing business, that learns all too quick that there is more to standing behind the chair than just cutting hair. A story full of laughs and tears lies and fears with characters you’ll love, hate or will leave your jaw hanging open!
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