Monday, 29 July 2013

life with lice

I was always under the impression that only people with lax cleanliness habits attracted lice, but I was wrong. I have been fighting a colony of lice in both my girl's hair since December 2012 and we do follow a good daily cleanliness routine. In fact the louse prefers clean hair to dirty hair as its eggs won't stick to grease.
To say the least, the fight has been a long and tedious journey.

Here's what I've learnt so far: 
  •  Dealing with your child’s lice can become an emotional journey as you face the inevitable disappointment that your time and hard work will be in vain as no sooner have you allowed yourself to feel victory, you will spy one tiny egg glinting in the sun.
  •  In the early stages of your experience you may practice denial, but further along in your journey you will realise that this only has devastating effects and facing the music is the best option.
  • Your eyes become trained to pick up the slightest sign of life on your child’s head and you are likely to become obsessive with scratching, picking and squishing the parasites whenever given the chance.
  • You will discover characteristics in your child’s personality that you never knew existed. One of mine is unbelievably patient as I scratch around her scalp whereas the other has a 30 second threshold which leads me to almost physically pinning her down and hurling all sorts of threats if she does not cooperate such as “If you don’t let me do this I will have to shave your hair all off!”
  • You will lie in bed puzzling over how to fit your lice eradication programme into the next day’s schedule of work, grocery shopping and school runs, and in my case breast feeding.
  •  You will opt out of fun activities such as beach visits in order to make time for lice eradication because if you let one day too many go by the fat ones will lay their eggs and you are doomed for another 4 week cycle.
  • You will no longer have the opinion that only dirty people get lice and will be humbled by the power this tiny creature has on your life.
  • You will seriously think about creating a “parents of lice infected children” support group.
  • You will give yourself a year’s deadline that if you still have not reached the end of this nightmare you will shave your children’s hair off.
  • And finally you will hope to never know the name of the person who infected your child to start with.

 And this is what I have learned about lice:                               
  •  Once your child gets lice there is little chance of getting rid of it completely in under 6 months. If you think you are clear you are more than likely experiencing a dormant phase in the cycle where the eggs are getting ready to hatch.
  • The best way to find lice is to comb through with some sort of oil – but this will only get rid of the larger ones while the tiny ones and the eggs remain - creating an illusion that you are clear.  The females are the largest.
  • Live eggs are close to the skull and dark in colour. Hatched eggs are further along the hair shaft and are light in colour (they don’t pop when you squeeze them.) Time spent popping eggs is well worth it.
  • Using chemicals is probably the best solution. The best is to comb out with oil every second morning and wash with a chemical based lice shampoo that evening
  • In order to conquer this ordeal you need vigilance, patience and a will to win at all costs.
To learn and understand more about the life cycle of lice go to:

<a href="">Pingates</a>