Itchy Up There?
There were the classes, school plays and of course, lice checks. Each year the nurse would use a clean tongue depressor and comb our scalp, looking for head lice. I was fortunate to never experience this infestation. A few others in the school were not as fortunate.
-James Goetz (New Jersey)
Fast forward to today. Our daughter, who goes tot he same grammar school as I did (crazy as this is!!!), came home with a letter informing us that there were some cases reported of head lice in the school. This letter got us thinking a bit and brought on a bit of un-necessary fear that our child could be exposed to head lice. We acted fast and took to the research avenue.
First Things First
As a preventative measure, we began a practice each night for a month (we figured it was a time frame the outbreak in school would be extinguished). After our daughters shower, we would comb her hair with a pure grade A organic peppermint and rosemary essential oils. Apparently, lice do not like these oils whatsoever and flee these areas post haste. To this day, fortunately none of our children have contracted a single louse.
Has Your Child Had Lice?
Some Facts on Head Lice to be Aware of....
-The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated up to 12 million children in the US ages 3-12 are infected each year with head lice.
-The American Council of Pediatrics found infested children should not have to leave school as a result of said head infestation. Children should stay home though to prevent transmission of lice to others in school.
-Head lice feed off the blood through the scalp, several times each day. This is sensationalized as itching.
-Female louse lay eggs at the hair shaft, firmly attached by a glue-like substance. These eggs appear yellow or white in color and take 8-9 days to hatch.
-A nymph is a baby louse. They look like small adults. They reach adulthood in 9-12 days after hatching.
-Lice have approximately a 30 day life span.
-Female lice lay approximately 100 eggs at a time.
-A louse is clear when hatched, the size of a sesame seed, and turn rust colored after feeding.
-A head louse survives only 24 hours off a human host.
-Lice do not carry disease and do not like dirt. For a pest, they are quite clean.
-Lice will not live off a dog or cat.
-Lice crawl, which means they are transmitted by contact. If you want to prevent transmission, do not share hats, brushes or pillows with friends.
-As lice need blood for survival, they cannot survive or breed on beds, linens, furniture or carpets.
-Lice loathe rosemary and mint.
Guide to Follow
Rinse, Lather, Repeat
A lice infection is a sure fire way to point to the fact your kid will be considered to have cooties =) Fortunately...circle, circle, dot, dot, now I've got my cooties shot! By circle, circle, dot, dot, I mean, peppermint, rosemary, isolation and remove. Your child will be fine and so will you. Lice are an inconvenience and thankfully not dangerous. The biggest concern you should have in regards to lice is if your child contracts an infestation is emotional torment from the stigma of having bugs in their hair. They may be upset and rightfully so. Educate them as you now are (they do not really have cooties) and a bunch of hugs will go a long way.