Question #5 8/5/2006 How do you deal with lice?

How do you deal with lice when you have 12 kids in the cottage? I have never dealt with lice in any way, shape, form or fashion. The two who arrived with it, got prescription shampoo from doctor. But do any of you real experts have an opinion on how to stop it from spreading? Thanks. –  S. S.

Although we have been lice free for about 3.5 years there was a 1 year period before that when we were having to deal with lice every month.  We had one group of children that would come back with lice every time they went home on a visit.  So we got pretty good at treating it.

We would use the commercially available lice shampoo to wash their hair. Then I would comb out their hair with a lice comb every day for 10 days and wash it again one final time.  We purchased the metal lice combs and reused them over and over again. 

My wife would wash all the clothing they took with them on the visit.  She would also wash their bedding and their clothes everyday during that 10 day period we were treating them.  That was usually enough to do away with the lice.

I found that the most effective part of that for us was combing their hair daily with the lice comb.  It seems that you can never get all the eggs out with just one combing and the shampoo doesn’t kill all the eggs.  Combing daily removes any newly hatched lice before they have a chance to lay more eggs.

We also have some very hard and fast rules to keep lice from spreading to all the children and staff.  My wife has gotten lice, twice from the children since we have been houseparents, I don’t have enough hair.

Rule #1: Everybody has their own comb or brush and nobody shares, ever!!!!

Rule #2: Bedding is washed weekly and nobody shares personal pillows, ever!!!

Submitted: CCCIn regards to the lice problem. The best tool I have found to use is the electric comb. A small, harmless electrical charge is transmitted through the hair which not only kills the lice but also the larve in the eggs. This method has been proven so effective that school districts have established a “no-miss” policy when a youth is found to be infected. (Actually, this was a condition of the health department which furnished the schools with these combs but the program has been highly successful). This is far and away the best treatment for lice and saves the youth from the damaging effects of chemical treatments and the social stigma of other, less effective, methods. This is one link for the product although I am sure there are other resources out there to purchase it. 

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