Top 10 tips for Removing Lice and Nits with Home Remedy
Once lice and nits come home from school, getting rid of them can become an enormous task. In this post, apart from my top 10 tips for removing lice, I have also included a very easy home remedy that we’ve found to be much more effective than expensive shop-bought products.
We don’t like to talk about all the horrid things we have to deal with sometimes as parents. It took me ages to whisper ‘I’m treating my kids for lice – beware (sorry)!’ Until I realised that having lice (nits are the eggs) isn’t exactly my fault, I didn’t deliberately set out to catch them or pass them on. It’s just a normal part of parenting life so I just deal with it, thoroughly!
In trying to remove lice and their nits, I can safely say we have worked our way through all the products on the shelf in the pharmacy as well as the tried and trusted home remedies. I have washed and combed and laundered and combed and shampoo-ed and combed until I was a blubbering pile of fury on the kitchen floor.
The nasty critters suck not only the blood from your kids but the hours from your week, and also the joy from your heart. After combing the long-haired heads of my three girls and then myself and then laundering all the pillow cases and towels, I almost feel sympathy for the dead creatures I just killed.
One day in the car:
“Mummy, what’s the Meaning of Lice?”
“The meaning of li…? UGH!” *shivers, car swerves violently*
“Yes, why did God make them?”
“That’s another one you’ll have to ask Him yourself, hopefully later rather than sooner at this rate.”
It’s no joke though, head lice has reached epidemic proportions in Ireland, and yet I still have no idea why God made them.
Here’s how we beat them:
My TOP 10 TIPS for dealing with lice and nits:
- Check your kids’ heads at least once a week. Lice are tiny, light brown and crawl. They cannot jump or fly but are passed on by contact. Look along the hairline around the ears and at the base of the neck as well as on the crown of the head for lice. The eggs (nits) are tiny white blobs that stick to individual strands of hair. They are usually found anywhere down the length of the hair.
- Keep long hair tied up for school.
- Spray heads with a solution of tea tree oil in the mornings as a preventative measure.
- Comb – using a specialised very fine toothed lice comb – once a week on a Friday after school to check for any unwanted passengers. Don’t forget to check yourself too as they tend to flick off when you comb and can land on your clothes only to crawl up on to your head, (I know!!) I do this in the bathroom with my child seated next to the basin so that I can rinse the comb after each stroke.
- If you find lice you can treat heads with an off the shelf lice treatment product but I have found that coating their heads in any cheap conditioner or olive oil home remedy (see below) and leave covered in a tight fitting shower cap or cling film overnight even more effective. Lice can survive without breathing for several hours so swimming or bathing does not drown them.
- Wear an apron when you comb your child and remove it straight afterwards to be washed.
- Nits (lice eggs) hate heat so use hair straighteners to fry those eggs! Using a hair dryer also helps but be careful of not scorching your child too (obvs).
- After three days check and comb again. Keep checking every three days for a minimum of a week until your child’s head is clear. This is key!!
- Lice can live off the head for 24 hours so you need to thoroughly soak any hairbrushes or combs in boiling water and change bedding and towels (iron pillowcases).
- Avoid using regular shampoo one to two days after.
Home Remedy for lice removal:
Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with 10-15 drops of tea tree oil. Coat head and hair with oil solution, cotton wool balls are handy for this.
Wrap head in plastic wrap (just the hair and not the face mind you) or wear a shower cap, and leave for 12 hours or over night. Lice can survive several hours without breathing so swimming will not drown them.
Comb out smothered lice in the morning and shampoo hair.
Repeat combing after three days for up to three weeks to catch any hatched eggs.
Don’t give up!
Other parenting posts:
- How to teach your kids to shop for their own food
- Art projects for kids over 7 years
- How to get a teenager to pick up his dirty socks
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