Issue 7.10.15 Pest-y Little Invaders – A Real Head-Trip – Your Health Detective

As parents, and consumers, we’re never ready for the onslaught of illnesses that generally begin late August or early September and manifest after classes start and all those nasty viruses begin to circulate and cross-contaminate including; strep throat, colds, influenza, sinus infections, ear aches, and yes, head lice.

I know this isn’t a pleasant subject, much less if you’re the recipient of uninvited guests. The reality: most students are infected at some time, even in college, and now there’s a rise in adults being infected. The following are natural, non-toxic remedies to eradicate head lice: Click to continue reading…

These remedies are NOT in order of effectiveness, simply options…

•             At first sign of infestation, use specifically designed lice combs (teeth are very close together to eject lice). When comb is used slowly through the hair, it brings lice with it – it’s easier to comb when hair is oily (try coconut or argon oil), don’t try combing through un-greased freshly washed hair.     

•             Head lice are one of the most contagious infestations – traveling easily person to person. Once infected, keep bed sheets, pillow covers, towels and washcloths clean using white distilled vinegar for final rinse – use very hot water, as hot as items can tolerate without damage.

•             Mix equal parts of mineral oil (like baby oil) and white distilled vinegar. Apply on head and cover with a shower cap for one hour. Afterwards, use lice comb, rinse with ordinary organic shampoo (preferably one containing tea tree oil) intentionally scrubbing the scalp. This cleans lice from your hair and scalp.

•             Add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil into organic shampoo bottle (6-8 oz.) and use accordingly. Rinse with pure lemon juice and water.

   Once infested, these treatments need to be followed periodically for 2-3 weeks to prevent re-infestation.  Crucial is removing all nits (eggs) from the hair to avoid new hatchlings.  Daily inspections of hair, especially roots, is recommended.

Information IS Power

NEVER share combs or brushes – it reduces chances of spreading critters. For students, find out what precautions the school is taking once head lice are identified – such as head checks, not hanging coats together, and/or cleaning rugs or any upholstered items often.  Ask the school/teacher what proactive education they provide, if any. If they don’t offer proactive education, suggest they do at orientation or the beginning of the school year for students, teachers and parents. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss this issue with anyone, it’s a common occurrence and the better information about how to be proactive and steps to take if the need arises, the more power we have to avoid these infestations that are so life-altering, even if only for the short-term!

A second-grade teacher client of mine had a terrible time with lice in her classrooms each year and the students just didn’t take her recommendations to avoid contamination. She had a meeting with the parents and got permission to show a PowerPoint with large photos of lice in all stages and the consequences of those infected. Her students didn’t share combs again, the lice issue was resolved that year, and now she shows this presentation at the beginning of each school year and other teachers have asked if they can do the same.

Other Places You Need to Consider…

Infection has become easier from places we don’t usually consider. For instance, an infected person sits in an airplane, bus or train resting their head on the headrest; the next person sitting there can easily become infected. Make sure you investigate if your head suddenly begins to itch; the quicker you identify lice, the better chance of stopping multiplication.

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