Posted by Deborah Pujoue on November 14, 2011
Now that the new movie “Contagion” is out, it got me thinking about back to school. (I know that doesn’t make any sense, but stick with me… I’m going someplace with this). With kids being back at school, there is no limit to the different contagions they will be exposed to on a daily basis. One of those that “bug” me the most is head lice.
Having two older daughters (teens now) with luxuriously long hair made head lice specifically traumatic at my house when they were younger. It took hours of combing with that fine metal comb to help them steer clear, but the treatment shampoos seemed eerily dangerous on their own. That is why this trip down memory lane made me think about lice treatments on the market now. With a two-year-old who will be going to school in only a few short years, I wanted to know just how effective or dangerous these new treatments are. Here is what I learned.
According to an iWatch News investigation, over-the-counter medications for treating head lice have the potential to be dangerous to kids. Even the FDA’s adverse event reports (which were obtained anonymously from doctors and hospitals) states that the pesticides that are used in lice treatments have played a role in children developing conditions that range from headaches all the way to death.
According to an article published online in the Huffington Post, “One of the biggest worries for some health experts is a prescription treatment for head lice and scabies called lindane. The pesticide has been targeted for worldwide phase-out since 2009 by the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty that targets some of the world’s deadliest toxins. The U.S. has not ratified the treaty, and has no imminent plans to ban lindane for head lice.”
That is just insane, or at least it would be if I ever bothered to use some of those treatments. I used a home remedy that really helped my kids and it was a great deal safer… but more importantly, it worked! I will share that with you instead of scaring you with more information. However, if you want to learn more about over-the-counter head lice treatments like Nix (which is approved to treat children as young as two months old), you can read that at iWatch News.
Here is my successful two-step recipe for getting rid of head lice. The first one requires mayonnaise or whipped dressing. Slather it all over the child’s head and then cover the hair with a bathing/shower cap. Leave it on the child’s head for an hour and then wash it out normally. (Note: If you have a hard time washing out the mayo, try dish soap instead of shampoo.) After that is complete, slather Vaseline all over your child’s head so that it is greasy. This will help you comb the lice and the nits out easily (and less painfully) with a metal lice comb (which you can buy separately at any drug store). If you don’t want to use mayo, you can skip step one and just move on to the step two… just know that using only Vaseline means that you will be pulling out live bugs with the comb.
I used mayo on both of my children and it worked like a charm. Not only did the mayo kill the live bugs and nits, it was completely safe! You will want to repeat the process about a week later just to be sure that you got all of the nits.