This week, I got the email I’ve been dreading since E’s first day of daycare/preschool 2 1/2 years ago …
We have had a couple of children at the school with lice. We have already checked all of the children who are at school today. However, you should check your child daily for two weeks to be certain they don’t have it. (especially if your family has older school age children.) We will be periodically checking here again as well.
They checked E’s head and said all appears to be good but that we need to keep checking because of lice eggs. Gross, gross, gross.
But that’s not even the worst part. This item from the list of tips is:
CLEAN HOUSE: to ensure a thorough job, wash or dry-clean your child’s clothes, bed sheets, combs and brushes; put toys and unwashables in plastic bags for at least 2 weeks; and vacuum.
So in other words, I need to just plastic wrap my entire house. Put toys and unwashables in plastic bags for two weeks? Seriously?!? That’s our entire house.
I did what any other self-respecting mother would do … I started whining on Twitter. And like always, it came through like a champ:
There are some wise words in there. So instead of the glorious, relatively plans-free weekend full of crisp, fall air and bright sunshine that I saw stretching out before me, I’ll now be arm-deep in tree tea oil, Nix and load after load (after load) of laundry.
As I try to picture putting things in plastic bags, for some God-awful reason, this image keeps popping into my head:
But I know who could really help me thoroughly cover a house in plastic wrap.
Side note: I really, really, really miss Dexter. The fact that the new season is on right now is torture. But we have an annual family tradition where we watch the most recent season every Christmas when my mom comes to town. There’s nothing like celebrating the birth of Christ with a little vigilante butchering, huh?
Anyway, back to the bugs. Ever since I got the email, I can’t stop scratching my own head. And this morning, when E. climbed into bed with me, I had one thought when she was snuggling under the covers with me — bugs are jumping from her head to my head at this very moment.
So what do I need to do about this? Should I not freak out since so far, she appears to be safe? And how the hell am I supposed to find these bugs in her tangled mess of blond hair? One of the teachers told me they look like dandruff that won’t brush out of hair (they stick to the strands). Ugh, so gross.
I think I’m going to go with Jen’s suggestion above and pick up some tea tree oil today and start spraying it like it’s Fabreeze on everything.
What else should I do right away besides washing every item of clothing that she touched this week, including sheets?
And finally, will you still read my blog if my baby has bugs? We promise to not share them!
Just Jennifer says
Last I checked lice aren’t feisty enough to jump through computer screens, so I feel pretty safe.
You seriously CAN spray the tee tree oil in a water bottle like it’s Febreeze! And put a few drops in all the shampoo and conditioner if you want to. Don’t forget to shake well!
Throw pillows and stuffed animals into the dryer for 20-30 minutes. The heat kills them. Remind E not to share her jacket or hat or hair clips with other kids. If she has a penchant for rubbing heads with other kids, she might want to stop that too.
We’ve had to treat for lice twice, the 2nd time cuz the school decided not to care anymore and LET kids they knew had lice come to school whether they had treated or not. Nice.
Thanks for the tea tree oil suggestion. Picked some up at the grocery store tonight and plan to use it on E’s hair during her next bath. Although I’ve heard that lice hate dirty hair so that might not be for a few days! I checked her hair again tonight, and so far, so good. No signs of eggs or lice … yet.
Love the tip about the dryer too for those things I’m not sure about washing. You’re full of great tips!
I’m pretty sure this notice goes out every few months in B/L’s daycare — not because the kids have it (knock on wood), but just to make sure parents are looking for it! B never had it once while he was there full time (again – knocking) so I think it’s a good measure of caution.
When I get it (the memo, not lice) – I check the kids, throw anything they with them in the washer — and that’s it. You can’t really avoid or prevent it if they do get it at school and when they have it you’ll know. And then you can do the extreme makeover – house cleaning edition. In fact, being dirty is actually better because nits/lice don’t like dirty!
Of course, I am very nonchalant in this whole parenting thing. Although, this post is making me scratch my head 🙂
One of my friends told me the dirty hair thing today, too. She also said they hate hair products, so to make up for E’s lack of clean hair in the coming days, I’ll be dousing her hair with detangler and maybe even some AquaNet for good measure. That stuff would kill ANYTHING (including most of my brain cells in the 7th grade!).
Other than that, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that every time I check her, she’s lice and eggs free (I’ll join you in knocking on wood).
And I can’t stop itching. It’s driving me crazy.
Honestly, I think we may have gotten the notice once, and I just took it as, “Well, good, Kiddo doesn’t have them.” And tossed it in the trash. I hope I kept an eye on him and told him to tell me if his head itched. Considering how hard I have to work to get him to brush his hair, I knew he wouldn’t be borrowing anyone else’s brush.
I wouldn’t worry too much. Cheers.
Lice are my mortal enemy. My family fought them off for years! It seemed like my whole childhood was spent secretly dealing with lice. There were 4 of us, so 4 times the chances of them rubbing off and 4 times the chances of them coming back once you thought you got rid of them. We had a routine where we would wash our hair with the shampoo, then my mom would drench our hair with vinegar and wrap it in plastic wrap for 30 minutes to help losen the eggs before she spent hours picking our each individual egg one-by-one. Not pleasant, but luckily we survived. I do have good news for you – my Mom never had lice herself. If you dye your hair, then you’re already treating your hair with something more powerful than the lice shampoo.
And there I go again ranting about my childhood memories in your comments. Sorry!!!!
That IS good news (about your mom!). Here’s a little secret — we have super-human strengths and immunities. Otherwise the world would fall apart. I’m even more impressed with her egg collecting and swatting ability. I think it’s a good sign that I haven’t had any yet, but I still don’t really know what I’m looking for.
And no, I don’t dye my hair, so I might be screwed. Apparently dirty hair is a secret repellant so E. and I are basically going to grow dreds until this scare passes!
P.S. I love that these blogs bring up your childhood memories! I feel like I’m getting a sneak peek at E looking back on her past someday!
unrelated to lice – we just watched the season finale of dex last night and it was awesome!! in fact, i really liked the whole season, it was an improvement over last. i liked the lumen season ok, but it was not as good as trinity. this season is more akin to that one and it was so good! the murders are very creative (it’s kinda gross that is a plus, but whatevs), the religious theme is well done (and this is from an agnostic!) and i <3 mos def. there is only one story line (that develops in the last 2 episodes or so) with deb that i was not digging. it will be interesting to hear what you think after you watch it, post a lil something for the dex fans out here 🙂