Nits! And teachers reaction

(31 Posts)
Svrider Tue 20-Nov-12 18:50:09

My 6yo dd2 seems to attract nits
I do them every month with hedrin once
Dd1 tends to have a few (5) ds tends to have 1 or 2
Dd2 has LOADS
So dd2 rather upset today as her teacher had told her "tell your mum to get you some nit lotion, your always itching"
I'm <angry> tbh
I only did her on Sunday
She's only just stopped being bullied by other girls about having nits, and had just started to be ok about going to school again
I think teacher should have spoken to me, not a 6yo girl who now doesn't want to go to school

arkestra Thu 22-Nov-12 16:18:04

This is a bit long but might save some people the hassle we went through - after an infestation we repeatedly failed to clear I did some basic research, and treating according to that worked first time.

What I found was:

1) Lice can start laying eggs as quicky as 7 days after hatching - NOT 14 or more days as many websites say. Look at (eg) UK dept of health website for the 7 day number.

2) It seems to be very hard to guarantee killing/clearing all unhatched eggs by treatment/combing. All evidence I found is that NO treatment can be relied on to do this.

3) But there are treatments that do seem to clear all LIVE lice. I personally have found Hedrin Once works well for this.

4) Lice eggs take 7-10 days to hatch.

5) Although headlice are not supposed to be able to survive for long when not on a human head (they dehydrate), they can last for 24 hours at least if the climate is reasonably moist.

And the consequence of that is:

A) Treating once, or twice 1 week apart won't work since you will likely still have unhatched eggs and get back to square one.

B) But if you treat at days 1, 7 and 13 then no headlice live long enough to lay eggs, and all pre-existing eggs have hatched. So this should clear everything - and this did indeed work for us.

C) You should change bedding, clothes and towels on treatment days. I know it's a pain but there does seem to be a chance headlice can hang around for a day without being on someone's head.

The trick is to not leave more than 6 days between treatments, and for the full span of treatments to cover the 10 day egg hatching period. So days 1, 6, 11 should work too for instance.

You will still need to comb dead lice and eggs out of the hair. The Nitty Gritty comb seems to work well for us. But the detailed combing is clearing up afterwards, rather than a necessary part of the killing process. It is quite easy to comb nits/dead eggs out while Hedrin Once is applied (if that's what you use), so worth doing as much as your child can stand at that point.

UrbanSpaceManBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 14:45:26

Thank you for seeking advice and getting a grip of the nits.

You can't really blame the teacher for this, I'd just take it on the chin.

Two girls in DDs class have nits, its not their fault but time and time again their parents fail to effectively sort it out. My DDs have ezema and really thick curly hair that hair slides can disappear into for months. When they've caught nits, our whole family has to devote considerable time to sorting it out. I'm not being unreasonable when I suggest to DD that she does n't work, play, share with these nit girls, it's no reflection on them, just they're dangerous to play around.

Clear up your kids then you can be smug and your daughter can be confident.

Pyrrah Thu 22-Nov-12 12:45:26

If you want a gentle shampoo that is sodium lauryl sulfate and paraben free shampoo then try the Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash. It comes in two forms - one is unscented. It is expensive but a little goes a long way and you can get it cheaper on eBay and other online shops.

I have friends who swear by mixing up a spray bottle of water and tea-tree oil and spraying the hair every morning.

I hadn't thought about the coats thing. Ick. Apparently bed bugs, nits and lice are often spread via seats on the Underground which has always grossed me out a bit.

I so wish they would bring back the whole school check - or that all parents would check their children's hair.

Even worse than the nits, DD managed to pick up scalp ringworm at her nursery - she had to have oral anti-fungals for 3 months (that said in the bumpf that a man shouldn't father children within 6 months of taking the stuff). It's taken even longer for the hair to regrow - by the time we got an official diagnosis she had lost a patch of hair the size of a golf-ball on the back of her head.

Sokmonsta Thu 22-Nov-12 12:31:43

I don't believe teachers approach individual parents about nits these days hence why your dc got the reaction they did. Although quite why the child was told confused

I used to suffer from eczema a lot on my head as a child. Conversely I rarely had nits, even though my sister was often found with them. You can get prescription shampoos for eczema. I had one that was a pink liquid and then a coal tar one which actually worked but stank. Maybe the nits didn't like that?

I would arrange a meeting with the teacher to explain about the eczema and also to highlight previous bullying due to nits. I'm afraid I would also call the teacher out on her behaviour as having been bullied myself, I would feel that the teacher was no better than those children. Whether rightly or wrongly, that is how I would feel.

Thankfully dd hasn't had nits since starting reception. I'm not so naive to think she won't get them, but I do comb her hair once or twice a week, her hair is sprayed with a solution of tea tree oil as I've always had to dampen her hair to tie it up and have been told tee tree has natural not repellant properties. Then once her hair is up, it gets a blast of hair spray as well. Because I only wash her hair every couple of days, I do use a more expensive (one i would use) hairspray on the recommendation of my hairdresser. She said it would brush out better than cheaper ones. But each to their own.

Hope you find a solution which works for you and dc doesn't get targeted by the bullies again

sashh Thu 22-Nov-12 05:33:18

OP can't help with the nits.

Other than some international students I taugt swore by using parafinconfused

But I have psoriasis and excema, the psoriasis is mainly on my scalp and I get Alphosil shampoo on prescription. It really helps with the itchyness. You can buy it OTC as well.

Bongaloo Wed 21-Nov-12 22:40:07

You can get an itchy scalp from keep using the nit combs.

LizzyBizzyFizz Wed 21-Nov-12 22:25:50

Hi, my DS has never had nits, I think it is because I have always washed his hair in organic shampoo with natural lavender or chamomile, it might be worth a try. May also solve problems with itchy, sore skin and scalp. Best wishes

lilackaty Wed 21-Nov-12 19:34:20

I agree - I think what she said was not acceptable. Does she know that dd had a problem with bullying before? If so, that is even worse.

Svrider Wed 21-Nov-12 17:01:22

Thanks all ill read thru all the suggestions once kids are in bed
I'm glad I didn't post on Aibu now!
I've taken on board that my hedrin once a month approach isn't working, and will try some of the suggestions below

I've found the nitty gritty comb to be useless tbh
I've used it a few times, found no nits, then found several with a normal metal comb (that came free with full marks solution)
I do think the teacher should have spoken to me, not dd,

Thanks again

Frikadellen Wed 21-Nov-12 12:42:54

OP you have been given some good advice about the nit treatment (and I am another supporter of the lice program I used it on my oldest dd when she kept getting nits over and over)

However with the teacher you need to speak to her. Say something like " dd has excema and she is already selfcontious about this. I would there for prefeer if you have any concerns you speak to mem and not dd who feels horrid over what I am sure was not intended to be anything but a kind remark by you"

The life cycle means that you just have to comb at 3-4 day intervals for 2 weeks. There are no 'special days'. As long ad you comb at least every 4th day you will catch newly hatched eggs before they can get to adult egg laying stage

Nitty gritty also removes the eggs meaning that most won't even hatch.

MistyB Tue 20-Nov-12 22:38:04

X-post re SLS

MistyB Tue 20-Nov-12 22:36:59

If you comb until you find no more lice then comb every three or four days (unless you find some) you should be able to keep them to a minimum. If your DD is suffering from itchy scalp because of her eczema, think about using olive oil with tea tree and lavender instead for the combing sessions. It might also be worth looking at SLS free shampoos to reduce the itching.

GrimAndHumourless Tue 20-Nov-12 22:21:15

here is the programme it really does work

please don't let your children be the Nitty Ones sad

pointythings Tue 20-Nov-12 22:12:10

pictures my DD1 is 11 - she had nits earlier this year but caught them off DD2 who was in Yr4 at the time. I don't think they are nearly as much of a problem in secondary.

With the shampoo - I think you are going to need one without the sodium lauryl sulfate, and most readily available shampoos contain it. I think you need to run this Google search: sodium lauryl sulfate and paraben free shampoo to get some recommendations that will work, and I suspect internet shopping will be your friend.

It's a bugger when they have sensitive scalp - DD1 has eczema and her main problem is her face and the area around her mouth. Which is a pain, because she is a pre-teen and her skin is starting to get a little oily, but balancing the need for soothing moisture with the need for reducing spots is a real challenge.

picturesinthefirelight Tue 20-Nov-12 21:38:47

I'll save that idea for next time if there is one (do they still get headline when they go to secondary school)?

It's a struggle even finding shampoo. We had been using neutrogena but that's supposed to be for over 12 years only. Simple seemed ok but can't get it on any if the shops round here at the moment, don't know why. Dove caused a lot of itchiness so trying Tresemme naturals now.

bitsofmeworkjustfine Tue 20-Nov-12 21:36:54

my dd had this problem for three years.

I sat with her every sunday night and did her whole head with a nitty gritty comb and conditioner. It got them all out. I know it did cos i got so frustrated i took her to the doctors with them and he kindly pointed out the lifecycle etc

But by thursday she would have full grown adult ones roaming around, but with very few nymphs.

It was only when she changed classes and moved her coat away from the same childs coat she had been next to for 3 years, did it show any improvement....

I believe they were 'travelling' along the coats. these coats are on and off at least three times a day, so the nit wouldnt actually be on the coat for long before it had another nice warm head.

Now dd keeps her coat in her bag, not on her peg, and she hasnt had another infestation.

pointythings Tue 20-Nov-12 21:32:28

pictures have you tried olive oil? Has the same smothering effect if you're persistent. I agree that eczema can be a real problem with Hedrin, though fortunately DD1 never had issues with it.

picturesinthefirelight Tue 20-Nov-12 21:30:40

The lotion is no good anyway. You need to bomb with conditioner daily

Dd has excema and a very sensitive scalp and hedrin made her itch more than the lice did.

Seriously it's not on of the teacher. I'd be mad, she should have spoken to you.

pointythings Tue 20-Nov-12 21:26:58

Fanny, Hedrin is not a pesticide - it works by coating the nits in silicone, which suffocates them.

I hate the word 'chemical' - everything is a chemical. Even water. <pedant>

pointythings Tue 20-Nov-12 21:25:50

I comb my DDs weekly with the Nitty Gritty and lots of conditioner.

If they have nits, I do the following:

Day1: Hedrin - not the Once, the regular stuff. Comb through with Nitty Gritty until no more live (or dying, I love to see them struggle) bugs found.

Day2: Morning - wash out the Hedrin. Evening - drench hair in vinegar (ordinary white vinegar will do. You will need to cover their eyes with a wet flannel as the fumes are nasty. Leave for 10 minutes, then wash hair. The vinegar dissolves the glue that binds the eggs to the hair and they wash out.

Day 7: Repeat Hedrin treatment - if you find live mature nits, your child is being reinfected.

You will need to tie your DD's hair back and spray the hair with cheap hairspray every day - they don't like this, for some reason.

Nit combing twice a day is really not necessary, but if a letter notifying of nits in the school comes home, you do need to comb immediately.

FannyFifer Tue 20-Nov-12 21:23:57

Don't be putting chemicals on then once a month.
A thorough check with a nitty gritty comb at least once a week, if a lice are spotted then comb 2x a day for at least a week.

Have you had someone check you out for them, for them all to have then that often then you are maybe missing some.

heggiehog Tue 20-Nov-12 21:16:34

Are you combing her hair every single day, twice a day?

You may be treating your daughter properly but many parents don't sadly.

redskyatnight Tue 20-Nov-12 19:29:40

If nits are prevalent in school (or wherever) you really need to be nit-combing with conditioner every week so they don't take hold. Hedrin doesn't kill the eggs, so after a couple of weeks you'll have a nice lot of new babies.

NatashaBee Tue 20-Nov-12 19:14:31

you do need to comb regularly - every 4 days i think, since nits have a 4 day life cycle? But the teacher shouldn't be commenting on it and embarrassing your daughter like that - the whole reason they got rid of nit nurses was to avoid embarrassing children.

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