My daughter had been scratching the back of her head earlier this evening. She noticed that I saw her scratching and said, "C'mon, Mom, you don't need to check - it's just a mosquito bite." I may have replied by saying, "But, my darling daughter, you must understand that regular assessment for the condition of pediculosis capitis, or head lice, is the most effective way of detecting the condition before a more serious problem arises." Hmm. I don't think I said that. I think I said something more along the lines of, "Get over here; you know the drill."
I looked in the itchy spot but found nothing. Because we were going to start supper, I reminded myself to do a more thorough check later. Which I did. At bedtime. Yawn.
I found one egg on her bangs. So, I knew we had to do the whole big lice thing, the crazy production, the...just kidding. Head lice are a treatable problem that you have to take seriously, but it doesn't mean that you have to go crazy. You may be surprised at what a non-issue this is in our house. Here's what we did...
First my 9 year old and I jumped in the bath together. We wet her hair and slathered it with cheap conditioner. Leaving in the conditioner, I brushed out the tangles with a brush. Then I grabbed my trusty, purple, $9 Walmart comb (click here for info on the comb) and started getting down to business. Combing from root to tip, I combed and combed through all of her hair until I could get to 100 strokes without finding an egg or bug. If I found a nit or a louse in my comb, I started counting at one again. After 30 minutes of combing in the bath, these were my findings: 1 adult bug (able to lay eggs), 4 nymphs (unable to lay eggs), and 3 eggs.
Once we finally reached 100 clean strokes, we hopped out. I quickly dried my daughter's hair with a blow dryer (just for drying it, not an extended directed blowing for killing nits and lice). Then, just for fun, we spent about 10 minutes looking at my daughter's lice under the microscope. I told my daughter that I thought her lice were cute but she was not convinced.