Your Kid Brought Home Lice… Now What?

Headlice are every mom’s nightmare. Gross and blood-sucking, they can jump (literally!) onto your linens, clothes, and rugs, living in and infecting nearly every area of your home. I know what you’re thinking: How much insurance do we have? If I burnt down the house, would it cover the cost of a new one? Headlice is the worst and getting rid of it can take a lot of time and effort. However, lice is not the end of the world; with a thought-out strategy and the correct tools, you can kick this thing in the butt without losing your sh*t.

It’s perfectly normal to think: This is impossible! We’re a clean family! There must be some mistake! It’s probably dandruff! Sadly, there are as many as 12 million cases of lice per year in the U.S. alone. It doesn’t mean anything about your hygiene, and there’s no shame in it. How could you have missed all the scratching? Because you’re busy, goddamn it. Get a lice comb, a magnifying glass, and get to work.

Check behind the ears and the back of the neck for clues. If you see anything crawling or attached to hair, you’ve found the enemy. Lice will attach themselves to hair around a quarter inch away from the scalp. If you find it, check everyone in the house—even your balding father. Now, it’s time to assemble your arsenal.

Maybe you take pride in your “100% natural and organic” household. Maybe Ashley from down the street found success in a chemical-free lice treatment. Skip the BS—there is no scientific evidence that home remedies are effective. Get lice shampoo from the pharmacy. Most over-the-counter products will kill live lice, but if your particular tenants don’t die from the shampoo alone, nit-pick with a nit comb for around two weeks after the initial infection. To disinfect, soak the comb for ten minutes in hot water before and after every screening. If you don’t kill or remove nits within a week, they will hatch, thus becoming your literal worst nightmare. A second shampoo is recommended 7-9 days after the first one, so check your labels carefully.

The last step? Wash your entire life. These little guys don’t just cling to hair—they’ll stick themselves to clothes, hats, linens, pretty much everything and anything that isn’t glass, wood, or plastic. But don’t worry; there’s no need to fumigate or use crazy sprays. Washing, soaking, or drying your stuff at or above 130 degrees Fahrenheit is enough to murder those little bastards.

 

 

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