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DD's head lice - is she getting reinfested or am I missing them when I do her hair?

(14 Posts)
neuroticmumof3 Thu 11-Oct-12 21:06:12

Help! DD has just started school. Last week she came home and I noticed she was itching her head a lot. I did the conditioner/nit comb thing and found about 20 lice of various sizes. Since then I have gone over her hair every time I've washed it (about 5x per week) and have continued to find lice, sometimes 6 or so, the other night only 2, then tonight about a dozen. I'm using a nitty nora comb as recommended by other mums at school and conditioner rather than checmical treatments at the moment. I've checked my hair frequently (have only found 2 lice) and her brothers' hair but they've been clear. I've washed bedding, pillow cases and towels on 90 degree wash cycle. Am I missing these lice when I check her or is she picking more up? She has shoulder length thick hair which she won't wear up so that might make it easy for her to pick them up I suppose.

Any ideas or advice would me welcome as I'm starting to feel a bit desperate.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 11-Oct-12 21:11:07

You are possibly not getting the eggs. And her hair is so infested that there will be plenty of lice to lay eggs, so her infection never clears. I think you need more than just hair conditioner and combing when it is that bad. Tee tree oil shampoo and conditioner are good non chemical methods. If you google nitty gritty, their stuff is based on essential oils rather than chemicals.

redadmiralsinthegarden Thu 11-Oct-12 21:14:21

yeah tea tree shampoo is good. and persistance! my ds1 was continually infested last year. i just waged war every day (a quick comb through every night). it helped that he loved counting them,but perhaps that's a boy thing hmm

exexpat Thu 11-Oct-12 21:15:09

If you are absolutely sure you are combing thoroughly every time (not easy with long thick hair - my DD's is like that)and the lice you are finding are quite big, not tiny newly hatched ones, then it sounds like she might be getting reinfested. There is probably one child at school whose parents can't be bothered to nit- check...

I think you need to insist for a while that she wears her hair tied back or (even better) in plaits, and also try one of the nit-deterring solutions - you can buy them, or a lot of people on here seem to swear by tea-tree oil mixed with various things (do a search and you'll probably find recommendations).

neuroticmumof3 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:06:19

Thanks everyone, will definitely get some tea tree oil shampoo. I don't think they are newly hatched lice - they are medium and large ones. I'm going to get strict about tying her hair up as well. It was much easier when my ds were little and used to get lice - their hair was short and finer than hers so it didn't take long to go through and I've not had problems like this in getting rid of them.

Newtothisstuff Thu 11-Oct-12 23:14:58

I'm having a nightmare with my DD's hair too (there's another thread) I've bought some vosene nit repellant shampoo which seems to be working (fingers crossed)

Clure Fri 12-Oct-12 17:35:08

I had a nightmare with DD nits which continued for the first 2 years of school. She has LONG hair!
This is what I did:
washed with vosene nit repellent shampoo/conditioner- alternated using tea tree shapoo, used nitty gritty and combed through hair for a good half hour, used the vosene repellent spray, tied DD hair up in plaits or bun, checked hair everyday using nitty gritty on dry hair with a spray in conditioner to get comb through, washed bedding regularly.

This was done religiously and it helped but didn't clear them. I eventually tried lyclear and hedrin (horrible stuff) which killed lice but she kept getting reinfested. The only thing I tried which got rid of lice (free of them for over a year now!!!) was Linicin (doesnt contain pesticides) I also think as the children get older they have that less head contact with others and tend to grow out of it.
Good luck

JuliaFlyte Fri 12-Oct-12 17:40:52

I had this problem with dd and we struggled on for months with combing, and all manner of non-chemical solutions. Eventually I was at my wits end and went to the chemist and asked for their most heavy duty chemicals. One dose and they were gone. If she gets them again I know what I'll do...,

seeker Fri 12-Oct-12 17:43:50

If you're combing for less than 45 minutes you're probably missing eggs and lice. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

neuroticmumof3 Wed 17-Oct-12 00:07:12

I have been combing for 45 mins +. Found 2 on Sunday, only one yesterday. Have used nit repellant shampoo and spray (it stinks) and insisted on tying hair up for school. Only problem with that is she has very shiny, silky hair and hair bobbles and clips don't stay in for more than a few hours - they just slide down her hair!

steppemum Wed 17-Oct-12 00:31:29

my dd kept getting lice in reception, it was from the same girl all the time. I found that when combing I had to go over and over the hair lots of times to get them all.

If you find a lot of live ones, you do need to use some nit shampoo. there is one which isn't chemical and only need to leave it on for 10 minutes.

Once you have got rid of the initial outbreak, make a habit of checking her hair 1x or 2x per week, so you catch new adults before they lay eggs. If someone has nits, then she will get reinfected.

The only solution is to tie up her hair. If you wash her hair nearly every day as you say, then it will be very soft and silky. If you want the bobbles to stay in, make it damp, then plait it. Only use proper strong hair elastics, not the slightly fluffy ones. Turn the elastics at the bottom of the plaits one extra turn if you possibly can. Either that or use a bit of gel/mousse/hairspray, which make the hair slighty stickier and the plaits will stay.

My dd hates having her hair tied up, but I have told her that it is a school rule. Actually once she understood that tied up hair stops the nits, she was happy to do it.

justanuthermanicmumsday Wed 17-Oct-12 00:59:09

Just say the word nit gives me the shivers and makes me itchy, I've had it so many times as a kid and adult, I'm like a magnet for them.

My daughter got it several times in nursery. It was a nightmare getting them out. Because she had live ones I use hedrin for kids. I find the medication that's left in the hair ver night seems to work better, I don't know if its scientifically true though, jus experience. Then I wet combed her hair every other day for a week. If I found any more lives ones after 1 week, then reapply medication. This is the advice on the bottle, works a treat. Just with impatient kids it can be a nightmare getting them to sit for an hour at a time.

Her school did insist that kids tie hair up, I always did regardless I just thought by the end of the day shed look a complete mess and be hot and bothered if i left it out.

My daughter has really shiny straight hair I just spray it a bit to get it damp and plait her hair. I've gone a bit wacky with hair braiding techniques lol.

She's in primary school now, and although she's not of age to wear the hijab, I've encouraged her to practice wearing a slip on cotton headscarf so that people can accept her for what she js. i figure if she starts wearing hijab suddenly when she reaches puberty, her friends wont understand why,and she may lose friends , and this may deter her from wearing it, I have told her she can remove it if she's feeling too hot since she's so young. I do secretly hope it'll double up as a head lice deterrent but I'm sure i'll hear about those critters again.

Ps is it me or do the mothers always get lumbered with cleaning out nit infested hair?

neuroticmumof3 Wed 17-Oct-12 18:18:15

Some good advice as usual, thanks everyone. I'm very kak handed (dyspraxic) and have problems just getting her hair into a ponytail lol never mind plaits. I might have a go at plaiting it while it's wet tonight if she'll let me.

Ithinkineedtogrowapair Wed 17-Oct-12 23:37:00

Just discovered today my 20 month old has lice probably caught from nursey.Gah. And we co- sleep!!! Help! What to do. She was so upset today after the mammoth washing wet combing session that the thought of forcing her into her new bed.... And she burned her finger earlier. Sooo what's the verdict. Am I going to get them too? Do I have to harden up here?

Will invest in tea tree shampoo...

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