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L-I-C-E: A simple four-letter word that evokes terror in any household. Right now you’re thinking, “Is Elizabeth really going to write a post on lice? Where’s the style in that?”  Well I am, and here’s why: too many women battle lice silently feeling kinda’ ICKY, like you’ve got the bubonic plague and won’t be invited to fun parties anymore.

Abby and my daughter Amelia

This post is about full disclosure: lice have visited our fair household not once, but twice in the past month, and from what I saw while sitting at Lice Solutions last Friday, they’re visiting Ensworth, USN, Overbrook, Percy Priest and Harding too. Ladies, we just may have an epidemic on our hands, and it’s time to fight back! Here’s a quick tale of my lice journey and some information you need to prepare for battle.

I never knew what lice were until about ten years ago when my kindergartner brought them home. Apparently lots of kids had lice, but everyone played their cards close, too embarrassed to mention it. .Silently, we all spent tons of money on treatments but kept passing it back n’ forth to each other. My lice adventure cost about $1,000.  I bought products at Walgreen’s, dry cleaned everything in my home and tried diligently to remove the nits from our hair; I even hired professional nit-pickers.

My husband was of no help. He would don his 1.50 readers and say, “Not sure I see anything, honey.” I would then say… well, I’m not sure I want to write what I said to him.

Short of dousing my kids’ heads in kerosene, I didn’t know what in the hell (with lice, cussing is permitted) to do.

I first learned of Lice Solutions from my church list serve. It said something like this: Lice Solutions is a non profit whose mission is to remove lice COMPLETELY and return kids to school as soon as possible. And that is exactly what they do.

The Terminator

First, you schedule a head check. If those little boogers are stuck on a strand of hair (nits) or roaming in your head (louse), you receive a treatment. Lice Solutions uses a handy comb called THE TERMINATOR to remove most of the nits and bugs, and then checks EVERY SINGLE STRAND OF YOUR HAIR.

Every Single Strand of Hair!

Don’t worry Moms; they have movies, snacks and a fine bravado when it comes to the tedious work of removing nits.

You’ll want to use this stash as a bribe.

Once you have gone through their regime, you are good to go back to school. Lice Solutions includes two follow-up visits with your treatment.

When you get home, collect all your hairbrushes and place them in boiling water or in a zip lock bag in the freezer. Use common sense to clean your house; vacuum thoroughly and use a lint brush on your furniture. Wash your sheets and towels and quit obsessing—lice do not live in your home, rather on your head.

At this point, you may want to consider an adult beverage.

If you continue to use the Terminator comb twice a week and check your child’s head regularly, you will diminish the chance of a re-occurrence. If you do find lice have returned (have a quick temper tantrum) and head back to Lice Solutions for treatment.

This last visit to Lice Solutions I had the pleasure of meeting Katie Shepherd, the founder of The Shepherd Institute for Lice Solutions. She had just returned from helping an orphanage in Cambodia where over 80% of the population has lice. She understands the strain lice puts on families, not to mention the stigma that accompanies them. Her book, Lice Advice is a how-to guide for families and is chocked full of good information. I love this quote from her book,

“Lice are equal opportunity parasites. They don’t care about the size of your wallet, whether your house is clean or dirty or what your personal hygiene is.”

The prevalence of lice in our society today is due to their resistance to over-the-counter drugs. Her goal is to educate us through her experiences with a goal of eradicating lice completely.

Schools need to know Lice Solutions will conduct head checks for only $1 per child. If they find lice in a child’s head, they will schedule a treatment and have them back at school ASAP. Lice are a nuisance, not a terminal disease.

Lice Solutions charges by the hour. Depending on how long you have had lice and how thick your hair is, they will determine how much you pay. It can be costly if you have three or four kids with lice, but I am not sure what the alternative is. No drug on the market has been proven to remove lice safely and effectively.

For those of you who want to slather your head with Hellman’s mayonnaise and wrap it in Saran Wrap, let it go. I tried it, and as we say in the south, “That dog won’t hunt.”

Now that I have completely bared my soul, or maybe my head, go forth—with lice, knowledge is power.

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