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TJ Jacks 


Headlice: The Facts and a massive money saving tip

Are you struggling with head lice infestations on yourselves and your children now they have returned to school?

Unfortunately advise given from schools and the NHS is incredibly poor and often inaccurate. The days of the nits, tits and dangly bits lady are well behind us (thank god) and schools are no longer able to identify individual children that carry infestations.

A common symptom that your child may be harbouring a headlice infestation is consistent itching of the scalp particularly around the ears and in the nape of the neck as this is where the headlice like to hang out the most. This is also where they are most likely to lay their eggs although not exclusively. When checking your child for headlice its important to be thorough starting in the nape of the neck and working up in sections. A ‘nit comb’ will also help you in this instance but is not a singularly suitable treatment for eradicating headlice if you do find them.

I have put together a list of myth busting facts to make it easy to break the infection cycle and there’s a HUGE money saving tip in here too.

P.s sadly none of these tips can 100% guarantee your children wont be re-infected by other children but if you have happened apon this post share away as all awareness is good awareness!

Myth: Head lice can jump

Fact: Head lice do not have wings and they do not have strong enough legs to propel themselves to jump. The only way that your children are getting headlice is through cross contamination. BUT I don’t just mean by touching heads. On-line info will tell you to ensure to wash all bedding etc but you really need to be treating ALL surfaces that the hair touches. Sofas, chairs, car seats, towels, clothes, and bedding make up a much more comprehensive list. Even your carpets if the kids like to roll around on the floor. Its a good idea to treat these surfaces if you have welcomed a child into you home or vehicle who you may think is infected to prevent cross contamination but also treat them when you are treating the family to prevent re-contamination.

Myth: Headlice can’t live off the head

Fact: Headlice can live without feeding and heat for up to 48 hours and adult females will lay eggs during this time as well meaning that your surfaces – listed above – are contaminated!

Myth: Treat once every seven days

Fact: Treating once every 7 days will not break the life cycle of headlice and you will be in a loosing battle.

TREAT EVERY DAY FOR 7 DAYS. This is the only way to treat effectively as there is obviously no way to know at what stage of lifecycle your child’s little visitors came to stay. Which leads on to very nicely to........

Myth: You must buy headlice killing juice from the chemist which costs a bomb

Fact: Here comes the money shot........ Headlice can be killed with a very widely used chemical called Permetherin* and is most commonly found in dog flea shampoo. It does not smell horrendous, it doesn’t sting the scalp and best of all it can be purchased in much larger quantities for a fraction of the price. Washing your child’s hair in this every day for 7 days will cause them no harm and will rid you of your headlice problems swiftly and effectively. As long as you return to point one and also treat the surfaces, with flea products. Any household flea sprays or room bombs that contain permethrin* will be effective.

*Permetherin is highly toxic to cats and should not be used in an environment where cats reside.

Myth: Headlice and nits are the same thing

Fact: Nits are headlice eggs that have not hatched yet. They are laid by the females close to the scalp and attached by a ‘glue’ that the female excretes from her genitals. They are nigh on impossible to remove and they also CANNOT be killed. Not by chemical, not by heat, not by nuclear war! This is another reason why you must treat on consecutive days as until all nits have hatched you will continue to be re infected.

Myth: Headlice like clean hair

Fact: Headlice would much prefer your child’s hair to be dirty, scalp flakes and dust and dirt are tasty. They also make the hair nice and grippy for them to easily climb on. Sweat provides the most favourable humid conditions for optimum egg laying. Keep your child’s hair clean, washed at least every other day – everyday whilst treating – and well conditioned. Using conditioner makes the hair very slippery which the headlice don’t like. It also makes it harder for the females to attach the eggs (nits) to the hair.

Myth: Headlice like strong smells

Fact: Like most small insects they can be repelled by strong smells. Tea tree, garlic and turmeric are all good things to use in either essential oils placed directly on the scalp or through food to keep your child not smelling so attractive. Maybe this will keep the other kids away too and break the whole reinfestation cycle once and for all!

I hope you have found these tips helpful, I know that headlice can be a constant battle with many households with multiple age groups. As always if you need more help or for me to clarify any of the points that I have made don’t hesitate to get in touch. I love talking about all things hair even headlice and if you’ve read through this and not scratched your head once I’ll buy you a pint. Happy itching. Tx

Tara x


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