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Are nits "a normal and expected part of childhood"?

(148 Posts)
ghosty Sat 23-Aug-08 01:54:24

This is my second AIBU thread this week blush
Until 8 weeks ago we have never had nits (I never had them as a child and I never had them in 10 years of teaching). DD brought them home 8 weeks ago. Mortified (possibly unnecesssarily), I treated the whole family immediately and I rang my friend who we had spent the day with that day to tell her. She said that nits were a normal part of childhood and that her children have them 'all the time'. She was very blase about it. She said she never uses chemicals on her children's hair and when she notices nits she combs olive oil through for a couple of weeks and eventually they go.
I was a bit shocked and said that I didn't see nits as a normal part of childhood. Anyway, DS came home with nits yesterday angry. Again I treated us all last night but I was wondering:
a) now we have had them will we ever get rid of them or is that it?
b) Is my friend right and am I over reacting to be so disgusted and mortified
c) AIBU to be a bit reticent about seeing too much of my friend's kids now?

juneybean Sat 23-Aug-08 02:01:50

I'd be more worried if my kids didn't have them! They like clean hair

ghosty Sat 23-Aug-08 02:04:55

Yes, I have heard that juneybean ... but I have washed my hair every day since I was 13 and still have never had them ...
I only wash their hair once or twice a week at most ... so they aren't that clean grin

juneybean Sat 23-Aug-08 02:06:46

Hehe, I know I didn't get them until I was 8 (23 now) but my friends daughter is 7 and has them every month. Seems like there's more of them now (if that's possible?!)

ghosty Sat 23-Aug-08 02:10:26

Do you treat them every time juney? Is my friend being pants and exacerbating the problem by only doing the olive oil thing "and they will be gone in two weeks" because surely in that two weeks that she is faffing about with frigging Spanish Extra Virgin bolleaux the whole community has caught them from her kids?

juneybean Sat 23-Aug-08 02:15:00

My friend uses the most expensive stuff, but L goes to school, sits next to a child who still has them and gets them back again

I would definately treat them every time because it's not fair to the child either.

I wouldn't want to go around with greasy hair if my mother had been pouring olive oil on my head (can imagine that takes ages to wash out?)

twentypence Sat 23-Aug-08 06:17:14

My brother had them once - my mother shaved his head sprayed him with something chemical and evil and never let him have that kid around again.

I'd say she's more in your camp than your friend. What a waste of Olive oil. Basics 87cent conditioner would work as well and be a lot cheaper.

fedupandisolated Sat 23-Aug-08 06:49:58

Conditioner is probably a better bet than olive oil. I can understand the reluctance to put pesticides on a child's scalp.
I don't agree that nits are a normal part of childhood - they are a nuisance and difficult to avoid though.
My DS has only ever had them once (he's 5)and given that some parents don't treat (and that some parents use pesticides everytime - therefore breeding a more resistant strain of louse)I don't suppose DS will escape the rest of his childhood nit free.
They are a pain - I wasn't disgusted and mortified - just irritated (literally as DS had shared them with megrin).

newpup Sat 23-Aug-08 06:54:10

Nits! Do not get me started! My DDs get them all the time. DD1 has a friend whose mother will not treat them she does the whole olive oil, no chemicals on my child routine so of course her DD passes them to everyone else on a regular basis.

DD1 is is starting Year 5 in a few weeks shock and has had nits 5 times in the last school year angry

I do treat them and it costs me £20 every time my 2 get them!

There is no way I would be able to comb them all out and whilst I was doing that they would be passing them onto every other child. I feel abit more responsible then my friend.

My friend ( a different one) who is a health visitor thinks that nits are now immune to many of the treatments and have produced 'supernits' that are harder to get rid of! Also as there is no longer a nit nurse to check children's heads some parents do not realise they have them and thus they spread! Also schools are no longer allowed to send children home because they have nits and so they spread!

I HATE nits!!!!

gagarin Sat 23-Aug-08 07:51:25

No - don't treat with chemicals everytime. It's not worth the money as if your dc is getting them from the kiddie she sits next to she will just get them again the next day! And that would mean chemicals every day - or at least every week

Once in school you shoudl bug bust every week - just do it as part of the hair washing routine.

And maybe use chemicals on the first day of every holiday if nits are a persisitant problem - as they will hopefully not be in such close contatc with their nitty friends!

and yes - nits are part of a normal childhood from 4years to 11 years old. Sorry!

saggyhairyarse Sat 23-Aug-08 08:28:51

The problem with the chemicals is that they are a pesticide and if your kids have them alot then dou want to kep exposing your kids to those chemicals.

My DS seemed to get them a lot and after realising about the chemicals, I now use teatree shampoo etc and comb with a nit comb twice a week, he has nothad them forover a year now. Girls need to tie their hair up as well.

AbbeyA Sat 23-Aug-08 08:31:27

I don't know anyone who has escaped. I gave up with chemicals and use saggyhairyarse's mthod.

misdee Sat 23-Aug-08 08:38:49

we dont do olive oil. but as soon as we spot the signs of any, we do bug busting type thing with a nitty gritty comb. i comb and comb through for upto an hour if i need to, getting rid of lice and eggs. and repeat this for a week/two weeks, til the kids are clear of them.

DrNortherner Sat 23-Aug-08 08:41:14

Totally normal part of chilhood imo.

Chemicals are harsh on hair and they don't always kill the little buggars. Condition and comb - tis the only way to get theam all out.

MaryAnnSingleton Sat 23-Aug-08 08:44:23

head lice like any hair,clean or dirty -they aren't fussy. Having said that ds has never had nits and is now 11 - I've always used tea tree based repellents and combed religiously every week- very relieved not to have had them, but on the other hand they say that it shows that children have friends if they have nits (ie they all huddle together playing) ergo ds has no friends sad ! (he does, but obv. not that close !)

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 08:49:27

lol ES only had Nits once in his life....

biglips Sat 23-Aug-08 08:55:34

my SD had them for 7 years now sure she gonna have them till she is 90!! She lives with her mum and her mum just used the comb where we use the stuff and comb (weve tried to give her the stuff but obv its not working so weve just put up with it). Also whats doesnt help is that she only have baths/showers every 2 weeks so prob thats why she never get rid of the nits!!! hmm

She is 10 next March.

MaryAnnSingleton Sat 23-Aug-08 09:00:46

I'm hoping there aren't nits in secondary school as I've eased up on my weekly combing with ds..we aren't in much contact with smaller children anyway. But I suppose the big kids will have younger siblings,so it is very possible..gah !

2sugars Sat 23-Aug-08 09:01:14

Ah! My favourite subject hmm

Doesn't matter how often they clean their hair/bath/shower, s'long as they're in contact with someone that has them, they'll get them.

Buda Sat 23-Aug-08 09:08:06

DS has had them twice but not since reception. His school does have a school nurse who checks them and sends a general letter out if she finds any. When DS had them in reception I was phoned to come and take him home as it was the Friday of a holiday weekend and the nurse said it gave us a good opportunity to get rid of them - two girls in the class had them too and their coat pegs were either side of his. I wasn't bothered or embarrassed - did the condition and comb thing and noticed the girls both had tied back hair from then on.

I use a tea tree shampoo on him now and he hasn't had them since.

2sugars Sat 23-Aug-08 09:14:08

I think tea tree shampoo/lotion is a load of bolloeax, frankly. Hedrin/NittyGritty comb is the only thing that's worked for us.

WideWebWitch Sat 23-Aug-08 09:16:33

You are over reacting, they're normal, they happen, it's not an indication of how clean or otherwise you are. To answer your questions:

a) now we have had them will we ever get rid of them or is that it? No, you will get rid of them but you might get them again, no big deal

b) Is my friend right and am I over reacting to be so disgusted and mortified Yes, she is!

c) AIBU to be a bit reticent about seeing too much of my friend's kids now? Yes YABU!

WideWebWitch Sat 23-Aug-08 09:18:01

And there's nothing wrong with using conditioner and combing through as a method of getting rid of them! It has been the ONLY thing that's worked for us. And the pesticides are nasty, I don't like using them.

ghosty Sat 23-Aug-08 09:27:39

Ok so I need to 'bugbust' (do they have that in Australia, does anyone know?) and do a nit comb thing once a week yes?
I can cope with that ...

The nit combs we have used with the treatments (that came in the box) were a bit crap though as after combing I had to pick more out of DS's hair with my nails (uuugggghghghghgh [vom]) shock ...

Maybe my sister could send me the bugbusting kit from the UK ...

I didn't like the idea of the chemicals but I thought that was the only way ...

I treated myself last night obviously but as I was doing it I thought, seeing as I straighten my hair just about every time I wash it, maybe I am burning the nits off every day .... hmm

notsoteenagemum Sat 23-Aug-08 09:33:16

Nits are normal part of childhood but they are also a complete menace, or rather the parents who refuse to treat them are! DD had them all the time in infants and she has eczema so have to be careful what we use. Another Mum and I actually offered to be volunteer nit nurses because they have been so bad! Our school won't have the kids in school until they're nit free.
They like any hair clean or dirty. I worked at a play group for children with problems at home, some of these kids never had a wash let alone hairwash and nits were a major problem.
They can become immune to treatments so don't treat unless you actually see them.
The best way to be nit-free is to check at least twice a week. I comb with nit comb every time I wash the kids hair and DD has extremely tight plaits for school as well. This may sound extreme but at least one member of our household had them for in a cycle for about two years no joke. DH has a grde one and there was one on him!!

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