by Nikki Doyle | September 12, 2017 9:49 pm
By Jen McCann, Realtor
“How was your summer?” someone innocently asked my seven-year-old. He replied with a disgusted look on his face “We had lice!”
Yep, that’s how our summer went. Hundreds of dollars spent on over-the-counter treatments (both chemical and natural). Up to six hours a day spent painfully nit-picking my kids’ hair. I had no idea these little nuisances could cause such havoc in my life.
In total, we had these uninvited guests three times this year, but with the help of the amazing team at Lice Clinics of America, we posted an eviction notice and we are finally lice free!
If you get the dreaded call from the school or notice your child scratching his or her head, I highly recommend contacting Lice Clinics of America-NOVA at with locations in Herndon and Falls Church. While there is a fee for the service, we spent more than their fee in over-the-counter treatments, ended up with chemical burns…and still had lice.
So as I braid my daughter’s long brown hair every day for school, I wanted to share with you the top five tips Darlene LaFramboise, owner of Lice Clinics of America – NOVA, shared with me:
Tip 1: Hair Needs to Be Up
Braids and buns are best, but even a high ponytail is better than leaving it down. The goal is to prevent swinging hair that can easily touch others’ hair during play and study.
Tip 2: Put a Preventative Scent in the Hair
The scent doesn’t matter – it does not have to smell medicinal. It does have to be done daily and the scent needs to linger all day. There are shampoos, mousse, and hairsprays on the market designed for this purpose.
Tip 3: Check Your Kids Weekly
Focus on the nape of the neck and above the ears. Look for nits (bugs are harder to see because they are adept at hiding). Nits look like small white to brown grains of sand that are firmly attached to the hair shaft. If you flick it and it does not fall away, it is likely a nit. Weekly checks mean you only have to deal with a week’s worth of nits; without checks, most lice cases are not identified until 6-8 weeks after infestation. And, trust me it is no fun for you or your child at this point!
Tip 4: If You Find Nits, There are Bugs & Bugs Move
You need to check everyone in the household. Re-infestation often occurs because families thought only one child had lice or mom couldn’t check herself (80% of moms who come into our clinic with their kids also have lice). Everyone needs to be thoroughly checked so that this does not become months of round and round re-infestation.
Tip 5: If You Find Nits, We Are Here to Help with a Guaranteed & Proven One & Done Treatment
Lice Clinics of America-NOVA offer same-day or next-day service and their treatment is safe for children as young as 4-years-old. Their staff is friendly and understanding. They even have a playroom for kids to play in while waiting for other family members to be checked or treated.
If you prefer to treat at home, remember that Super Lice (now in every state) have developed resistance to many over-the-counter pesticide treatments. The CDC recommends daily comb-outs as the most effective at-home treatment. Spend your money on a good lice comb (we bought the Nit Free Terminator) and commit to the daily comb-outs for the full 14-day lice life cycle.
The good news is that lice do not carry diseases, they don’t infest your house or school, and they are definitely NOT an indication of poor hygiene. Don’t look to blame another family, they are struggling too. Don’t be embarrassed, you did nothing wrong. Remember, we are all in this together! Your best prevention measure is to come forward to shut it down. Giving a heads up to your child’s playmates and school allows other parents to check and treat quickly – an important step in preventing your child from being re-infested.
As someone told me, “There is no shame in getting lice; there is shame in keeping lice.” With an increase in cases due to school starting, I hope these tips help you prevent and, if necessary, evict those unwelcomed guests!
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