When you discover that your child has had lice, your first inclination maybe to try to treat her or him yourself. We understand that; you may think that this is a less costly route than professional treatment or you may think that with a little time and patience, it will be easier and faster to tackle the problem on your own. Should you decide to take this route, we want to caution you about some commonly used attempts to kill lice that may be dangerous.
Kerosene or Gasoline— We strongly urge you to stay away from these products when it comes to head lice removal. They are very flammable and can severely injure or kill a child. The most recently reported example of this was in 2009; an 18-year-old in Indiana suffered burns over more than half of her body when a spark jumped from the pilot light of a water heater.
Sleeping while Wearing a Shower Cap—Do not take the risk. Products that suffocate lice by getting into and occluding the breathing apparatus of the louse are legitimate ways to kill the bugs. Often it is recommended to sleep with the products in the hair, which gives them time to suffocate the bugs which are able to hold their breath for several hours. We concur with this, however, it is not a good idea for children to sleep with a shower cap as there is a risk that they may suffocate as well. In 2015, an 18 month old child Massachusetts suffocated after she was left unattended for hours with a shower cap on covering mayonnaise. If you need to place a cover over a child's head, do not leave her alone or unattended at all. Better yet, pull the hair up in a ponytail or a bun and place a towel around the shoulders.
Tea Tree Oil Poisonous if Swallowed—Some people have used tea tree oil to try to suffocate lice. While oil, if viscous enough, may be effective in killing lice, tea tree oil carries the risk of being poisonous if ingested. According to the National Poison Control Center, “Tea tree oil is known to be poisonous if swallowed. A child who swallowed a small amount given to him by mistake went into a coma (from which he recovered). Tea tree oil should NOT be taken by mouth for any reason…”. https://www.poison.org/articles/2010-dec/tea-tree-oil.
“Recognize that when you use lice control pesticides, you should be ready to deal with these potential consequences:
- Exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals through skin, eyes, and lungs.
- Accidental poisoning due to overuse or misuse of pesticide products, especially in children, elderly patients, and patients with medical conditions that make them more susceptible to chemical toxicants.
- Decreased effectiveness of lice treatment products due to development of resistance in lice populations.
- Contribution to water pollution in your community.”
Source: Pesticide Research Insititute
If you discover that your family has contracted a case of head lice, LiceDoctors has been offering effective chemical-free lice treatments for many years. In fact, we have successfully treated 400,000 people in the privacy of their own homes. Our lice treatments are generally significantly less costly than salons and sometimes less costly than do-it-yourself treatments, which may be ineffective and cause missed says of school and work, and multiple purchase of products. For convenient, in-home service, call us in the Joliet area at 312-765-7266 day or night!