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how long before i will know if dd has caught lice?

(12 Posts)
Caththerese1973 Tue 19-Jul-05 12:03:19

hi
recently my 2.5 y/o dd and I spent the day with my friend's kids, and I was annoyed when I got there to see that she had been treating her childrens' hair for lice. She never told me they had had lice and if I had known I would have postponed the visit! My friend said she combed them all out with anti-louse solution just before we got there, but I feel that the risk we will catch lice is pretty high.
I wouldn't mind so much except I am starting a new job next week and how will it look if I have head lice? Also I have no idea how to treat them.
It has been two days since we were exposed to the lice. How long do they incubate? How long before I know whether or not we have caught them? Are there any pre-emptive measures we can take before they hatch (or whatever it is the disgusting little blighters do)?
Advice would be appreciated.

dinosaur Tue 19-Jul-05 12:05:18

If she has "caught them" that means that adult headlice have walked onto her scalp from the other kids' scalps. So if you do the comb and conditioner thing now, you should catch any adult ones. If you do find any adult ones, you will have to carry on the treatment because by now the adults will have had time to lay eggs, which will hatch out into baby lice!

spidermama Tue 19-Jul-05 12:07:43

Don't worry too much Catherine. Almost all kids get lice at some point. They're rife in primary schools. They are annoying, but not life threatening.

We can't treat children with lice like lepers, and at least the mum concerned has been treating her kids, so good on her. Not everone bothers.

Fio2 Tue 19-Jul-05 12:08:39

they catch them at nursery and school constantly anyway, i wouldnt be annoyed with your friend as they are harmless. As for 'knowing', erm you will know

Tinker Tue 19-Jul-05 12:09:04

Your daughter will have plenty of chances to catch lice, learn to enjoy. If your friend had told, you may have had to postpone for weeks - can take ages to get rid of sometimes.

sparklymieow Tue 19-Jul-05 12:14:01

Don't be annoyed with your friend, my DD1 had nits over the weekend, not sure how long she has had them as she had about 12 adults and no babies, my dd2 had 3 adults, they are very common in nursery and school, you get sure to them after the 5th time!!!!

Listmaker Tue 19-Jul-05 12:38:52

Yeah don't be annoyed. They are just part of life in schools these days and we don't stop doing things because we have them!!

My dd1 had them for a while before I realised . She has brown thick hair and I never saw any until I noticed all the eggs behind her ears. It took a month to get rid of them but despite being very badly infested (HUNDREDS of them!!) my dd2 and I never really got them so you might not.

If your dd got them as someone else said it'll be an adult so comb her asap and hopefully get it before it lays eggs. If it has had time to lay eggs they will hatch in a week or so so you need to keep combing every couple of days til they are all caught (hopefully before they start laying themselves). The NittyGritty Nit Free comb is by far the best - you can get it on-line.

Don't worry you'll get immune to the shock and revulsion in the end!!

Elf1981 Tue 19-Jul-05 12:55:47

The best defense is to comb your childs hair every night with a nit comb, even if your child has not been knowling exposed. They're rife in many schools due to the withdrawal of "nit nurses". If you comb everynight after washing their hair with a nit comb, any "walker" that they've managed to get will get it's legs broken and will not be able to latch onto the hair and lay eyes. Keep combing.
I'd try not to rely too much on the products at the chemist etc. The nits seem to build up a resiliance to them.

Listmaker Tue 19-Jul-05 12:57:48

God EVERY night Elf - my dds would start a serious rebellion!! I only wash their hair once a week! So I check then. But we are just getting rid of the last of the latest infestation on dd2 so she is every 2 or 3 nights. I absolutely hate doing it - so much trauma!

joanna4 Tue 19-Jul-05 12:57:57

My daughter always has head lice there are a few with very long hair in her class you can see their hair walking all on its own.Comb and condition is best way i have found.Interestingly enough i have discovered putting daughters hair up in a bun has made a huge huge difference!

cerys Tue 19-Jul-05 13:03:51

My friend used to put her daughters' long hair up in a bun and spray hairspray on it, which was apparently very effective.

Both my DDs had headlice earlier this year and we spent weeks doing the conditioner and combing thing, which really did work. Poor DD2 was getting over chickenpox at the time and still had lots of scabs in her scalp, so it wasn't very pleasant for her, but bribing with chocolate buttons usually worked!

Caththerese, I never got them nor did my DH or any of the grandparents, though we all did the wet combing too, just in case.

geekgrrl Tue 19-Jul-05 13:05:39

they're quite hard to catch really, catherese, particularly younger kids don't seem to pick them up so easily and if your friend's child had just been treated you'll probably all be fine anyway.
I think it's perfectly reasonable of her not to cancel, is she's combed out all the lice there is zero chance of your daughter catching headlice from her child.
You have to have very close head-to-head contact for a reasonable amount of time - my daughter's had them 5 or six times and none of us ever caught them off her.

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