I was thrilled to open my daughter's backpack yesterday and find the infamous 'Pink Slip' informing all parents that lice has been detected in their child's classroom.  Fun fun fun!  Note my sarcasm.  But, you can avoid a lot of worry and grief if you work on preventing before an infestation breaks out in your household.

Over the last couple years, it has been brought to our attention that lice are essentially becoming immune to over-the-counter remedies.  They’re becoming mutant or super lice that are resistant to permetherin…the common ingredient in most store brand lice remedies.  With back to school season on our door step, we want to start taking necessary precautions to prevent our kids from being out these pesky critters.  

Best plan of attack when it comes to lice is PREVENTION.  Lice (mutant or otherwise) hate tea tree oil!!  You can purchase tea tree oil at any local pharmacy and add it to your shampoo.  This is the most cost effective way.  They do make shampoos that already have tea tree oil in them, however, they might cost a little more than you want to spend.  I buy the oil and add a little to our own bottle of shampoo.  Be mindful…a little goes a long way.  A bottle of tea tree oil will last a long time.

If your child comes home with lice, a sure fire home remedy is apple cider vinegar and coconut oil:

  1. Completely saturate scalp and hair with straight apple cider vinegar.  Allow hair to dry naturally.  The vinegar will loosen the ‘glue’ that holds the nits onto a strand of hair.
  2. Once hair is dry, saturate scalp and hair with coconut oil (you might have to warm it up to melt it).  The coconut oil kills the living lice.  Put a shower cap on and keep on for a minimum of an hour…but overnight is preferred.
  3. Wash hair (I take the extra step and wash with tea tree oil shampoo).  It takes a few times of shampooing to get the coconut oil out
  4. Comb, comb, comb and comb again!
  5. Follow-up with shampooing with tea tree oil shampoo for 30 days
  6. Make sure you wash all bedding and clothing

It’s important to stay on top of this process.  It can take up to 30 days to get rid of lice.

  • Lice eggs take a week to hatch
  • Takes 7 days to become an adult
  • Adults live for 30 days and can lay 8 nits per day

So, if you miss one lice, it is very easy to start the vicious cycle over again.

If you have a child with long hair.  Make sure you have them wear it up and tight.  Talk to your kids about not sharing hats with kids.

Also, make sure  you WASH everything.  Borax soap kills their exoskeleton and is great for your laundry.

Treating lice doesn’t have to be a scary thing.

Also, talk to your kids about sharing hats, trying on hats, using other people's brushes.  All kids should have a cubby at school to keep their possessions separate from others.