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How do I know if it's nits?

51 replies

Sugarmag · 08/05/2005 07:03

About a week ago I noticed lots of little white specs in DDs hair. At first I assumed it was just dandruff - she's never had any skin problems before but her hair has seemed a bit dry lately. Yesterday she was out playing in the garden (right in the shrubs for some reason known only to herself!) and when she came back in I noticed lots of really tiny little bugs in her hair. Washed and combed her hair (with just normal shampoo and comb) - the bugs went but the little white specs are still there.

How do I know if this is head lice or if it is just dandruff + flies from the garden? if it's lice I'll need to tell the nursery but really don't want to tell anyone if it isn't! Help please.

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Ameriscot2005 · 08/05/2005 09:37

It sounds like nits.

If it were dandruff, you'd be able to shake the white stuff out and see it on a dark cloth. Nits are empty egg shells of head lice and they are fairly firmly cemented to the hair shafts. You can drag them out with your nails, though.

SPARKLER1 · 08/05/2005 09:41

If I were you I'd buy a nitcomb, wash her hair, condition and comb through with the comditioner still in. You'll be able to see then.
I regularly comb through with dds hair anyway even when they don't have them.

HondaDream · 09/05/2005 08:01

Sounds like headlice. Get a nit comb and also swallow your pride and tell the nursery. Nits is nothing to be ashamed off. We all know they are attracted to clean hair. And they spread so easily.

Put loads of conditioner on hair and then comb through with nit comb, eveyday for about a week. If you have left it a while it will harder to get rid of. I have 3 kids all had it. I shaved ds's hair ( easy peasy) dd2 who has masses of curls wasn't so affected but I spent two weeks picking out eggs from dd1's hair. Then when it was all gone we played at a friends who then kindly infornmed us she had found nits in her dd's hair( from another child ) and we started all over again with the nit comb and conditioner.

I am sure there are plenty of mumsnetters who have similar stories. It's nothing to worry about. It happens to all of us just like chicken pox and measels.

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 09:21

Have had this problem it seems forever ! My friend informed me that her little girl had 2 bugs in her hair and was quite shocked because my friend had took my two to school that morning. So i thought oh oh. My son had 2 big ones and my dd had one and afew eggs, so did the conditioner and nit comb. This morning when i gave my two a bath, i found 4 big ones in ds hair, bearing in mind i shaved his head when i found them last week so he's had a grade 2 shave all over, i still can't believe they are still in there. GRRRRRRRR

Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 09:31

Well we used the medicated shampoo and combed her hair it seems to be completely clean now - probably was nits as all the little white specs are gone too. Fortunately she's got very fine, straight hair so it wasn't too hard.

I've sent a note in to the head teacher at the nursery as well (just waiting to see if the phone rings! Do you think I should treat myself and DS with the shampoo as well (DH has practically no hair so unlikely to be a problem)?

OP posts:
Carla · 09/05/2005 09:32

Sugarmag, do the white spots brush off if you tousle her hair? Or are them completely adhered? I swear dd1 is still picking stuff (empty cases) out of her head, even though we got rid of the little blighters just after Christmas.

Did you have a close look at the bugs? Did they have wings?

Ooooh, I love this subject now - NOW that we've got rid of them. Was in the Science Museum last week and HAD to buy a book called 'Head Lice - Close Up'. My sister saw me looking at it and said 'Carla, haven't you got close enough?'

Let me know if you have any further worries and I'll let you know how we finally eradicated them.

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 09:33

I would just to be on the safe side, because you'd kick yourself if a few weeks later your kids had them again and they came from you, lol.

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 09:34

tell me tell me

Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 09:41

I don't know I don't know I don't know! I'm a little squeamish about bugs so I tried not to look too closely - just threw her in the bath! Obviously a better mother would have put aside her own phobias to examine the bugs in her daughters head more closely. the white specs (now gone by the way..?) did not seem to brush off too easily - they never apeared on her clothes or anything. I could only see them when I was brushing her hair - and more easy to see when her hair was wet.

Guess I'll go out and get two more bottles of the stuff - one for me and one for DS. Fun, fun, fun. At least it doesn't smell too bad.

OP posts:
Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 09:44

I'm have to say, I am NOT loving this subject. It's gone right to the top of my list along with stomach bugs and toilet training.

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Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 09:45

Does sound liek nits if you can't get them out easily.


Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 09:46

I don't believe you

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Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 09:47

(about getting used to it I mean)

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yoyo · 09/05/2005 09:47

I thought the nits were amber coloured and a sort of teardrop shape. They are extremely hard to pull out hence the lashings of conditioner. My DDs have had them several times. Check around the ears and nape of neck in particular.

Once you've seen a louse you will never forget it!

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 09:49

Have had this problem for 3 years now, nursery and then school on both my kids. it is very annoying to say the least.

Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 09:52

See, now that's the thing - there weren't any around her ears or neck. And the "bugs" were too small to get a good look at - so maybe they weren't nits after all. The pharmacist I bought the shampoo from showed me one (dead of course) - she keeps it taped to a bit of paper for just this reason I guess - and I still wasn't sure.

Oh well, I suppose it doesn't really matter whether it was or wasn't. Best just to treat myself and DS anyway and then try to forget about it.

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Carla · 09/05/2005 09:55

I'd taken my two to the hairdresser's. DD1's hair was so long and so curly, it had started to form dreadlocks , and no matter how much I brushed it they just kept on forming again. Didn't ask for dd2's hair to be cut (it never has been), but my sister questioned those white specks.

Took them into the pharmacy department in Boots, asked if anyone could identify nits, lady came round and said 'OOOOOOH, yes!!'.

Was about to say nothing worked, but finally cleared both of them with chemicals/nitty gritty comb. Both were a total torment for all of us.

Finally got them clear, when dd1 noticed 2 monsters on dd2. Clearly she hadn't 'bred' these herself, she had been reinfected by someone in her class. It takes a while of getting to know them to realise they're moving across the classroom, rather than just breeding on your child's hair.

Anyhow, at this point I was completely arms up. No way was dd2 going to let me do the wet combing again, or the 'stinky stuff'. So, my thinking was .. if there are these big buggers in there now, and they've obviously moved over from someone else, sooner or later their eggs will hatch. So I meticulously went over her hair with an electric comb, every day, until the nymphs had hatched. I just thought if you managed to catch them before they're sexually active, you might crack it. And it seems to have worked ...

Carla · 09/05/2005 09:57

And the 'zzzing' is really satisfying [sad cow emoticon]

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 09:57

Are those electric combs good then?? i was told they weren't any good??

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 10:01

Keep scratching my head now, lol.

Carla · 09/05/2005 10:09

Hermione1, they won't touch the eggs, but the point I was trying to make is that if you catch them (ie do it every day) before they get a chance to breed, you'll have cracked it. I just thought there would be no way I'd get all those eggs out again. For me it was best to wait for them to hatch and zap them before they got ... mmm... sexy?

I've thought mine had them loads of times - but when they did you really know about it! Scratching their head in their sleep is a real giveaway!

Good luck!

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 10:09

Thanks i'll get one next pay day.

Carla · 09/05/2005 10:19

Hermoine1, I think I paid about £15 or £20 pounds for mine. Compared to what I paid out in lotions it was a bargain. And I just wanted to add - I know I've said it before - the Nitty Gritty comb is free on prescription - and it did work for dd1.

Hermione1 · 09/05/2005 10:23

i konw but mine continually get them and have spend hundreds on treatments, i like the elecy comb i think.

Sugarmag · 09/05/2005 10:38

Well, the nursery was really grateful to have been told - said they wished more parents would tell them so it would be easier to stop them spreading! the head teacher says she just has a quiet word to all parents on the way out - without mentioning any names of course, just a suggestion to check heads. Sounds good.

starting to itch imagination??

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