In August I took my beautiful, curly haired daughter in for a first day of school hair cut. We were both super excited! She was starting kindergarten that Monday. So Thursday night we went to our favorite kids hair salon and asked for a trim. Because she has curly hair I asked to have it washed before they started. Now, over the past few days all the major news outlets had been screaming headlines about super lice and how the outbreak is going to horrible this year. Well, that freaks people out! So as the hair dresser was combing my daughter’s hair out she thought she saw a knit. Before I knew it she has another hair dresser over and they were looking at my daughter’s hair. Then I was told, right there in the middle of the salon with other families around, that my daughter had lice! I was mortified. Instantly I felt ashamed like I had failed my daughter. The other family scooted down the bench a way from me. I felt like there was a huge scarlet L on my chest.
After I overcame the initial shock and shame I clicked into fix it mom mode. I immediately wanted to know what I could do for my child. They sold me a very expensive lice remedy and sent me home to get to work. So for the next 3 hours I spent working on my daughter’s hair. We did the shampoo, let it sit and then washed it out. Then I applied the mouse and worked it in. Lastly I combed EVERY shaft a hair 4 different ways. And guess what? She didn’t’ have head lice! She had ECZEMA.
I had just spent 3 hours of my life treating my terrified child for head lice that she NEVER had. Thanks to all the unnecessary hype by the media those hair dressers were freaked out. They were being over diligent. And instead of looking to see what the white goo was on my daughter’s head they jumped right to head lice. When, if they would’ve taken a moment to finish combing her hair they would have seen a large patch of eczema behind her right ear. And that goo was her skin that had been rubbed from behind her hair during the washing of her hair.
My daughter was so patient during the whole process. She is only 5 years old but she sat there and never complained. But it killed me as a parent to see the worry and pain in her eyes. She was stressing about not being able to go to kindergarten. She was stressing about little bugs climbing in her hair. And for someone with eczema unnecessary stress is not good. Stress is one of the triggers. And starting kindergarten was already stressful enough for my baby as it brought on an eczema outbreak.
So before you freak out over lice learn the facts. Stop jumping to conclusions. Here are a few myth’s everyone needs to know.
Lice cannot live off the human body for more than 48 hours! No need to go crazy and try to clean everything around the house and all the toys. Simply go to a hotel and treat your child there. Then come back in 48 hours and your house should be fine!
Drugstore remedies are effective. Lice have built up a resistance to the ingredients in the most commonly purchased lice shampoos and topical treatments. These products only kill a small percentage of the live lice and have no effect on the eggs.
Lice can jump, hop, and fly. Lice cannot jump from one person to another. They have six tiny claws and hold on tightly to hair shafts, which is how they move from head to head.
Learn more at EndtheIgnorance.org. Let’s end the stigma and embarrassment of head lice.