nit picking

We received a text from a friend saying that her son has head lice.  We had seen them that night so it was possible Squidge was infected.  So I looked and didn’t find any- phew.  My first thought was that I was going to have to shave all our heads and then burn the house to the ground.  Then after the panic subsided a bit I did a little internets reading and was happy to hear that I wouldn’t have to get all crazy.    I went out and bought some preventative stuff an slathered it on the girl.  Then I looked again- still nothing.

This morning I texted a friend to see if she wanted to meet for coffee at a soft play place.  I didn’t know what to do- should I say something?  I mean Squidge doesn’t have it- at least I don’t think she does.  If I don’t say anything and her kids end up with it I’ll feel like an ass.    Sooooo I ended up telling her and I could tell she wasn’t all that pleased.  Well neither would I but I haven’t found anything on her so I thought it was safe.  But STILL if her kids get it then I know it was from my kid.  What are you supposed to do?  What it the correct head lice procedure?  Are you supposed to stay in the house for a month until you know all those suckers are gone?  This evening I used the non-preventative stuff.  It says to only use it if you have live adults/eggs.  I figured it couldn’t hurt, right? RIGHT??!?!??!


I haven’t done myself yet, I will tomorrow morning.  Let me tell you my head is soooo itchy but I think it’s psychosomatic- kind of like when I watched arachnophobia and couldn’t stop itching for a week!

So folks this is my first foray into the wonderful world of childhood creepy crawlies!!  I still want to burn the house to the ground and start over but I think that has more to do with my wanting to move then with any infestation we might or might not have.


  1. February 3, 2009 /

    Glad you’ve not got them…. But yeah one of those nasty things thats a fact of having kids…yukkkkkk!!!!!! And your itching is def all in ya head….:-)!

  2. maria
    February 3, 2009 /

    I totally can relate to everything you wrote!! I think I’d do the preventative thing as well.. I guess you going out was a no go?

  3. guilty noodles
    February 4, 2009 /

    We were exposed to it in the fall… as in I helped some friends out and watched their daughters for them and the girls rolled around in all our beds and couches. Yup, I pretty much flipped out.

    We never did get it, but I spent days washing everything in hot water with bleach, slathered every head in tea tree oil, washed everyone in Boo! shampoo and sprayed all the couches and beds down. Even did the mayo with shower cap. I know, I’m a freak.

  4. SCM
    February 4, 2009 /

    I think I’d want to destroy the whole city just to be on the safe side.

  5. Sarah
    February 4, 2009 /

    I had head lice when I was young – had my hair washed with whatever and that was that. No need to burn down the house (just as well, because I’m sitting in the house now and I’d be cold without it). This is a pretty good site, I thought:
    And judging by the itchiness I got just googling this, I’m sure yours is psychosomatic too 😉

  6. The Biff
    February 4, 2009 /

    Wait until she starts school!! It’s a strange family that doesn’t get them at least once and small consolation that they actually prefer clean hair. Don’t get too het up about it as you can transmit your fears to Squidge and that can make treatment a battle ground. Make sure you follow the directions i.e. don’t use too little, too much OR too often. It’s a chemical designed to kill things after all and, although safe if used correctly, you should treat such things with respect. Put her hair in a Ponytail or Pigtails when playing with other kids to minimise hair-to-hair contact (they can’t leap from head to head and die quite quickly away from bodyheat so you shouldn’t need to buy a flamethrower to do the laundry). Lastly, smothering her hair with conditioner and giving it a good comb through one a week will help to minimise the risks. HAVE FUN!!

  7. Julia
    February 4, 2009 /

    We got it for the first time after visiting my brother. We returned to the US not knowing we had the dreaded lice! I did my best at nit picking and using tea tree oil etc, and sent the kids off to school. I got a call from the school nurse….oh the shame. Over there the kids (my experience anyway) get sent home from school until the little buggers are gone. I was told to let EVERYONE know we had ‘them’

    Here in the UK my kids have had them once…I was told not to announce the fact !!!

    So…I think it’s whatever works?

    As suggested: tie up Squidge’s hair and do the preventative things. I always spray my kids hair like crazy with hair spray if theres a problem in the kids class. Great for preventing lice.

    Check out the following- doesn’t pull out chunks of hair.

    I have to admit to itching/scratching after I got that text 😀

  8. mariel
    February 5, 2009 /

    when my mom was a school nurse she used a black light to see the wings of the little buggies! ew!! i dont ever remember having it…..but go get a blacklight! when she starts school i am sure you will encounter this situation again….

  9. Liesl
    February 5, 2009 /

    We had a live outbreak at Liam’s school before Christmas – it started in the 3rd grade class and spread out via close friends and siblings. In the end Liam never got them (phew!), but his teacher and three of his classmates with older siblings did. It took the school dry-cleaning all the carpets and upholstery and the parents washing clothes, hats, jackets, scarves, etc. on a daily basis for about two weeks before the lice were gone. It was later determined that one of the 3rd grade dads started the outbreak – he was in the hospital for surgery and ended up trading a gall bladder for bunch of lice. You have my utmost sympathies, and I hope you never have to repeat this scare!

    It’s great to be back – Squidge is looking like such a big girl. Have a great week, and I’ll catch up with you later.

  10. February 5, 2009 /

    I’ve been sooo paranoid about this recently! I grilled my cousin’s wife that’s a school nurse about them a few weeks ago. She said they look like sesame seeds (yuck!), they like clean hair and some other stuff I can’t remember. At least in the U.S. on the east coast, most kids get them when they go away to summer camp, so they’re all over the place in the fall.

    I read somewhere that they don’t like rosemary. I was thinking of filling a spray bottle with a bit rosemary essential oil and distilled what to spray on Chloe’s head. Thinking about makes me itchy!!

  11. February 7, 2009 /

    Sugar got Lice last August. I can tell you that it is a ton of work, but do-able. I’m not sure what stuff you used, but if it was a pesticide, I wouldn’t use it without really having lice, as it is toxic. I used a non-toxic treatment that is salt based.

    I know it is hard not to freak out, but really….it wasn’t as bad as I thought. do I want her to get it again? hell no…but really…it is do-able.

    Keep checking her head for a few weeks.