The Water Cooler – Head Lice

May 14, 2014 12:00 pm · 28 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

Have you, or one of your children ever gotten head lice? If so, what did you do to get rid of it, and how long did it take?

Talk about it….

Anon777 May 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM

About 12-14 years ago Silverwood Elementary had an epidemic. My daughter got it and it was HORRIBLE. We used Nix (I think it says leave on for 10 minute; we left it on for an hour). We also covered her head in mayo for hours at a time (another trick which seems to work). EVERY SINGLE DAY you have to wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets, spray cloth car seats, couches and anything else you can’t wash. You have to put pillows, stuffed animals, etc into the dryer on high heat. And you have to make sure the school and other kid’s parents are doing the same or you never get rid of it. My friend’s family had it for 8 months because it kept going around between school and home and their 4 kids. The schools need to clean their “reading rugs” and stop sending that damn stuffed animal home with a new kid each week!

Nick May 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

When my little sister got it from a classmate in elementary school, me and me brother both totally shaved our heads. So we didnt get it, but the whole class she was in had it. It was miserable at home for about a week.

A May 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Had it when I was a kid. My mom treated my hair with a vinegar and alcohol wash and then leave in with a shower cap for 15-20 minutes then a thorough rinse. It was torture to sit through as a kid but it killed those suckers and made it easy to comb them out.

Nitty May 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Managed to dodge that bullet for 43 years until one of my kids brought it home from a MDUSD school. It can take weeks if not a month or more to be lice/nit free, even when agressively battling it at home on a daily basis.

NoNever May 14, 2014 at 12:55 PM

My mom told me her story. When she was a little girl she got head lice. Back then they’d wash your hair in turpentine. She has had a very sensitive scalp ever since. She’s 78 now.

Shelly May 14, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Yes and yes. I detailed how we got rid of them in the lice article. You have to read through a lot of screaming mimis to find it though.

Almost There May 14, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I had to do the lice cleanup more then once when my son was in 1st grade. Seemed like every other week I was treating, spraying, washing. The worst part of it was, he always kept his hair in a buzz type cut. I had spent the day doing a clean up and treating him. He wanted to go outside top play so I let him. It was probably 20 minutes later he came in for some water and I look down and saw the louse crawling on his head. I freaked out. Asked him who he was playing with and he said he was on the swing in the sand box. No other person or kid around. So no one can tell me that you have to be in direct contact to get them.

Concord1963 May 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM

No, never had to deal with it personally, although I knew some who had. In fact I used to be the volunteer in charge of head lice check crews at the local MDUSD elementary when my kids were there.

Minutemom May 14, 2014 at 1:53 PM

@Anon777 – right on. We went through this with our daughter, who got in in elementary school, years ago. Diligence is the key: you have to be on it every day until all the adults and eggs are gone. YUCK. My scalp is itching, just thinking about it.

Anon May 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM

My kids and I all got it. I think from a trip to Tahoe of all places! Love Bugs in Lafayette was wonderful. Got us all cleared up quickly. Still a pain at home with all of the washing that needed to be done and bagging all of the toys.

Bluebird May 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I found a battery operated lice comb that “zaps” and kills them. Whenever we were notified that my daughter was exposed to lice, we’d start using the comb right away to avoid an infestation. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about the comb until after a terrible infestation that I thought we’d never clear up!

The first time my daughter was checked for head lice was when she was 4 years old and there was an outbreak at her pre-school in Mt. Diablo High School. Over the years, she was exposed several times: at school, at friend’s homes, at daycare.

The Professor May 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Daughter got them about 5 yrs. ago at Mt. Diablo Elem. Picked her up at school, stopped at CVS (Nix shampoo and a special comb), brought her home and gave her a thorough scrubbing. Mom got home and did the same. Still didn’t get them all.
We all went to Love Bugs in Lafayette. They checked us all (daughter was the only one with them) and started the treatment. It consisted of shampooing with special soap, using a very fine comb, and finally manual nit picking. It worked!
We also had to wash everything. I was told to boil combs, brushes, etc. Pillows, stuffed animals, comforters, etc. that we couldn’t was was bagged up and stored in the garage for several weeks (enough time to kill the parents and then any eggs that might hatch).
We only had one bout with the little bastards but that was enough. The next year the same kid who gave our daughter lice was infested again. We went to Love Bugs again for a check-up and got a clean bill of health.

Call Love Bugs if you are unfortunate enough to get an infestation. Professional, relatively inexpensive, and effective! (And no, Mayor, this is not a paid endorsement.)

mayo does the trick May 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Mayo really does suffocate them! Cover head in mayo, put a cap on and wait. Smells gross but does the job better than any lice product!!

Pleasant Hill Resident I May 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I had head lice for nearly a month while it went around my elementary school. Those suckers simply refused to die. I don’t think my mom will ever forgive me for making her deal with the bugs (even though it wasn’t my fault, lol). Even with the old-school policy of sending kids home, it took a while to eliminate the lice from our school – one kid would be sent out just as another kid came back lice-free, etc.

I can’t even imagine letting children with lice attend class now under the new rules. The lice will never go away – it’ll simply ‘make the rounds’ upon all of the children, terrorizing them all!

Momo May 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM

My daughter got it one summer while we were on vacation in Washington. Took us all summer to get rid of it. It was an awful experience for us. Good thing it wasn’t during school. I guess I would have had to home school her for the two months that she had it.

Half full May 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Both of my kids and all grand kids went through it during pre high school years . Nothing worked completely. Had to spend hours and lots of money only to lessen the outbreak. Not sure how it went away completely. Personally, as an adult and constantly being around it, i also got it several times One morning i put a lice comb through my hair and had 18 live bugs. Combed the heck out of my hair and never had another problem. Must have been good timing in regards to their life cycle that i got rid of them so quickly

Turpintine works best when used May 14, 2014 at 2:51 PM

on the heads of the school board. Include a match.

Soon, head lice will soon become an endangered species.

Yep May 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

I thought we had gotten away with it, but my last child got in at middle school. It was a chore, but at least he was old enough to sit still and let me do my thing to his hair.

It would be very hard to do with a squirmy elementary school kid.

BestAdviceEver! May 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

When my oldest brought head lice home from Kindergarten I received the best advice ever! My mom worked for a couple who were pharmacists and the said dye her hair. It was simple, fast and she NEVER got lice again! Lice do not like the chemicals and they won’t be able to cling to the hair…..saves the hassle and the thought of chopping long beautiful hair on a 5 year old.Back to normal right away.

Concord native May 14, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Oh man what a pain in the ass that was… kids both got them in Elementary School….I’m so glad that’s over & so glad to be done with MDUSD

jtkatec May 14, 2014 at 3:12 PM

GROSS TOPIC!! I’m going out to get some doughnuts to bring to the next staff meeting.

CoCoOld May 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Why is everyone blaming MDUSD? Would it shock people to find out that there are lice in Walnut Creek, Lafayette and Orinda? I recall lice sweeping through Inland Valley Elementary (Now OIS) in Orinda when I was there. All of us girls had short hair then so it wasn’t so bad. There was a huge infestation at my kids’ elementary school years ago and even though the teachers in the kindergarten classes bagged everything and got rid of the rugs, it just wouldn’t go away. It turned out there was a parent who refused to believe that she had to clean everything at home also, including the car. Finally another parent noticed a louse on her back seat upholstery, pointed it out, and the woman FINALLY cleaned her car. Bam, the epidemic was gone.

Lice Lice Baby May 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

@BestAdviceEver! (#20)

Hair dye TOTALLY worked for me, too!

I got lice when I was 15 years old; there was no Google or Wikipedia back then, so I didn’t even know what lice looked like. I always had good hygiene and was too embarrassed to tell anyone. Fortunately, I decided to go blonde later that week and the lice were gone! And I’ve been having more fun ever since!

I would kinda think twice about using hair dye on a small child, though…

ccat May 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Our kids had it twice. First, we put everything that could be washed, even clean clothes, into large black garbage bags. I obsessively vacuumed dresser drawers, bathroom cabinets, mattresses, sofas, car seats and every inch of the floors. I rolled up rugs and bagged up the decorative sofa cushions and stored until the kids were out of elementary school. Washed clothes, bedding, pillows in hot water, and dried on high heat. Put clothing in Large white kitchen bags, or plastic storage containers instead of dressers and shelves. Bagged up and stored away all toys that couldn’t be washed. Boiled combs and hairbrushes every night. Bought a good quality lice comb, LiceMeister, and used it as directed, every day, thoroughly. Basically, know your enemy. They have a short life cycle if you can get out all the eggs. Also helpful is a magnifier, with a light attached, like they sell at Staples. The lice hate to live in gunk, so conditioner, Mayo, anything goopy will work. It will takes about 2 and a half weeks of persistant cleaning and vacuuming, and combing nightly, to rid them. But, its best to check your kids every night for about a month, or as long as the school, or other families are still dealing with it.

The one we used isn't shown here, but these do work. May 14, 2014 at 7:14 PM
Cowellian May 14, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Our kids occasionally brought home lice notices, so of course, we had to check things out. They never had lice, but they did sometimes have a severe bubblegum infestation.

Fritzhugh Ludlow May 14, 2014 at 7:26 PM

I never saw or heard of this in my school years of 1959 to 1971. Even Foreign Born Doctors will tell You that Lice are an epidemic due to the illegal/undocumented what ever PC name You call them.

Marianne May 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM

yes, there are epidemics of lice; when other kids got them notices were sent and we went to talk to the administration to find out what we needed to do to contain them. We did check everyday to make sure our kids weren’t infested, we were lucky because they never were.

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