Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WFMW - Lice prevention


This week's tip is about something we don't like to talk about, but with the weather turning warm (here in Israel at least) it's very timely.

Lice is a BIG problem in Israeli schools, particularly this time of year. It's endemic. And worst of all for this born-and-raised-in-NY mother it's considered just a normal part of life. So sorry, I admit that I have somewhat pathological fear of having little creepy crawlies laying eggs in my kids hair, but I do. It had a real stigma where I grew up and I internalized that stigma 120%. I. Do. Not. Want. Bugs. In. Anyone's. Hair. EVER.
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Given that, I will forever be grateful to the person who told me about this awesome means of prevention. Yup, you heard me. PREVENTION. Not cure (though I've got an excellent all-natural one of those too, let me know if you need it), prevention. Avoiding the little suckers altogether. What is it you ask?

Rosemary Oil

This essential oil is available anywhere that sells oils, health foods, or homeopathic remedies. Just put a drop or two behind each ear and at the base of the neck, the critters' favorite locations, and you're good to go. The lice don't like the smell and will leave your kids alone. My kids never leave the house without it, even if they're not going to be around other kids. (I told you, I'm paranoid, no reason to take chances.)

Lice have run through both of my children's classes a number of times and touch wood, throw salt over my shoulder, spit three times, etc. etc. they haven't gotten them.

Rosemary oil - it definitely works for me! Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more helpful tips.

20 comments:

Poppy Fields said...

We use something like this, too, it's a combination of three essential oils. But, I am not always consistant in putting it on my daughters' heads and we've known the consequences. Yuck

UKZoe said...

Over here you can get spray bottle of an essential oil mix, which is at a level you can jsut spray it over their whole head.
But of course, like you say, the key is in being consistent.

Jen said...

So far no problems with lice, but I'm definitely going to look into this oil.

Why does my head all of a sudden feel itchy? :)

Janet said...

hmmm...and they smell good too!

christine said...

What a great idea? I'm knocking on wood, that we've never had any cases at our house.
I like zoes idea of putting it in a spray bottle.
Great idea Robin. Plus I love the smell of essential oils.

Cori said...

Ugh! I hate bugs! I will totally keep this tip in mind. Thanks!

Pam said...

Thanks for the idea. What is your natural solution if they do get lice?

Robin said...

The natural solution:

Melt 1-2 sticks of butter (depending on hair length). Work the melted butter completely through the scalp and hair. Comb hair thoroughly with a fine-tooth lice comb. Wrap the child's head in saran wrap and cover with a shower cap. Leave it on for half an hour, then shampoo until all the butter is gone. Check head thoroughly to be sure you've got them all.

Repeat the check a week or so later in case you missed any eggs.

The melted butter apparently suffocates the lice and nits (eggs) and helps the nits slide off more easily. The friend who told me about this said you can also use margarine if you're looking for a less expensive option. It works better than all those harsh chemicals and is certainly safer for your child's head and for the environment.

Thank goodness we only had to do this once before we discovered the rosemary oil, because I have never been so utterly and completely grossed out in my life!

PS There was a sign up in my daughter's class today that lice are back again. You better believe that she's going to be marinating in rosemary oil tomorrow morning!

Kim said...

Itching my head here, thanks Robin!

I'm so glad to hear your prevention, I too am uber paranoid about lice. Almost to the point of being obsessed. I will be looking for some rosemary oil.

Kim said...

Duh, that should be *scratching* my head!

Anonymous said...

Did you try Sarekal? They sell it in every drugstore as spray or cream. I usually add rosemary or lavender oil to it - although Sarekal has them as ingredients. But I'm a bit on the paranoid side, too.

The first time one of my kids had lice, I nearly fainted. All the Israeli mothers just said so what. Since we use the Sarekal, we had no lice in this house any more. And it's much easier to braid my girls with this stuff.

Lila

Robin said...

I use the sarekal (detangler to those of you outside Israel) to comb my daughter's hair every day, but my veteran lice-wrangler friend says that the rosemary in there and in the shampoo isn't strong enough. My son's hair is too short to need sarekal, so he'd still need the rosemary anyway.

And as an aside, oh how I wish Maya would let me braid her hair, or heck, even put a barette in! She's a loose and free kind of girl.

Wacky Mommy said...

Oh, you guys. You don't know how glad I am that Jen sent me here! We use tea tree oil for a preventative (and alongside of treatment), and Cetaphil hand lotion as a treatment.

Robyn said...

Hi. If you want to end all lice problems like we have, get a bottle of Kim's Lice Preventative. Seriously. We were going to give up playgroups but then along came this amazing product. It's sold by Lambe Enterprises. Sorry, you'll have to look it up but it is a spritz on that really doesn't add any consistency to your hair. It is light. Mix it with your conditioner and smell just like yourself. Natural, organic, and approved by the FDA in Canada. Great product.

Kathy said...

the newest thing I've heard about to find them in the hair is vinegar. A friend tried this, you pour vinegar on the hair and the lice "light up" and you can see them much better to pick them out. BUT I love the idea of the rosemary essential oil as a preventative.

Lis Garrett said...

THANK YOU for this!! I have been checking everyone's head NONSTOP, doing multiple loads of laundry each day, and vacuuming lize a mad woman. I checked her hair this morning and saw nothing, not even the eggs. I picked out quite a few, even after the application. I'm going to send her to the school nurse this morning just to make sure, but I think they are gone. However, I will contintue to check three times a day for the next month. You think lice give you the heebie jeebies? I am TOTALLY grossed out now. My poor kid - she is SO afraid the kids at school will make fun of her . . .

megweg said...

Hi, Robin, I would be very interested to hear about your treatment for head lice. My daughter is being treated and at first I freaked and used the chemical pesticide. Now that I've been dealing with it for a week I see they (the lice) are harmless, just a nuisance. I am going to start using the Rosemary oil and other essential oils but I would still like to hear about your treatment. Thanks, Megan

megweg said...

Sorry. I just found the solution! Thanks

Naturalgirl said...

Hello I to use Kim's Lice Preventative it is now called naturoganics it is easy to order online now www.naturoganics.com I have been using it for about 2 years. It is great i love that my daughter has been lice free. I do try and let people who have lice know it is safe because like all parents WE HATE LICE....try it

HyunChard said...

I came up w/ my own way in high school when my little sister brought them home to us. I remembered the awful infestation of head lice in my elementary school. I attacked my head w/ my blow dryer. Every day for a week. It worked. I killed them all.