It all started...well, we're not actually sure when it started. But our attention was drawn to the situation in the parking lot of Arby's. Yes, we do occasionally take our kids to fast food and we do enjoy it. They thought it was great and all of them (except for Hannah) devoured lots of horsey sauce to show their enthusiasm. Upon loading the car after lunch I noticed two bugs on Abby's head. And then I noticed a few more. And then I found these:
A little bit of worry. A little bit of questioning. A quick Google search once we arrived home and...
SURPRISE! We have head lice!
Now, before you jump to conclusions about our personal hygiene habits please be informed of the following facts concerning head lice. You can check out the source of this information here.
Can you say "GROSS!!!"???
- Head lice can walk from one head to another when the heads are touching for some time.
- You are very unlikely to pick up head lice from brief contact with other people. The longer you have head to head contact with someone who has lice, the more likely it is you will get them too.
- You don’t get them from objects such as the chair back. Although it’s just possible that a louse might get from one head to another if a hat is shared, this is very unlikely. It’s not the way infection is usually caught.
- Most people only realize they have head lice when this itch starts. By then they’ve had lice on their head for two or three months without knowing it.
- Some people never get the itch, including adults. They may have a few lice on their heads for years without knowing it, and can pass them to other people.
- Try not to worry too much about head lice. They are unpleasant, but they rarely do any harm other than causing an itchy scalp.
We jumped into action right away. If you're interested in ways to treat head lice without using insecticides we had success with this spray and this comb. The spray was the most effective, but the comb had a bit of a wow factor in that you actually got to zap those little bugs. I know...yuck!
After discovering the family of lice residing in Abby's hair, we thoroughly checked everyone else in the family. The boys were lice and nit free. Hannah had a few of each and even I had some. Ewwww... How did I catch them? It's pretty likely to catch lice from a carrier when that person climbs into your bed every night and shares your pillow.
Now that we're about a week into treatment we are officially lice free. Praise the Lord! And I even got an impromptu haircut in the privacy of our garage since combing to detect and remove lice was a real problem with long hair. At least I was planning on getting a haircut anyway.
Head lice is one of those parenting experiences that I was dreading. It definitely ranked at the top with the stomach flu, large gaping wounds, broken bones protruding through the skin, and the chicken pox. What did we learn through this? It is very possible to discover and head lice infestation and live to tell about.
Please, don't be too grossed out. And please don't think that we never wash or comb our children's hair. I learned from my research that lice could really care less if they are living in clean, dirty, long, short, curly, or straight hair. They just want a nice warm place to breed and live in peace. But they won't be finding any further refuge in our hair if we can help it! Check out this preventative treatment to deter lice from taking up residency on your head.
And don't forget to do regular checks, especially if you have kids.