Updated on August 28, 2020
Updated By Diana Doty
You just found out that your child has head lice...what do you plan to do? Of course, you would love to don a hazmat suit, or better yet put your child in a hazmat suit, so that nobody else in the family will become infested. In fact, you need a way to clear up the lice in your infested child AND make sure that the rest of the family does not already have it or will not get it. Your next thought is how do I prevent the lice from infesting all of my family members?
If My Child Has Lice Should I Treat Myself?
A parent we recently helped, Andrea J., asked us that very question. Like many other moms, Andrea wondered, “if my daughter has lice should I treat myself?!” Later she admitted, "I wasn't positive that I wanted to hire a professional service. Even though lice creep me out, I thought I would try to treat my daughter myself with a do-it-yourself treatment and then I discovered that my son had it too. Now I was a total wreck, living in fear that the case would spread to my other kids and to myself and my husband." She wasn’t sure if she might have caught it already, and had no idea how to not get lice from the kids. At a loss for what else to do, Andrea ran to the drugstore and bought several chemical lice shampoos.
You should never use chemical lice treatments as a preventative measure. If you aren’t sure if someone has lice, pesticide shampoo treatments won’t fix anything, and aren’t going to help the rest of the family not get lice from your child. In addition, American head lice have mutated to be chemical resistant (what we now call “super lice”), and the chemicals available at the drugstore are often no longer effective in killing lice.
But Andrea didn’t know what else to do, so she applied the lice shampoo to everyone's heads and spent a whole day raking their scalps with the tiny plastic combs from the lice kits. Next, she spent several hours doing laundry and cleaning the house. She was a little scared to look, but knew that she had to keep checking the kids on a daily basis, to make sure everything she was doing was working. A week went by, and just as she was beginning to feel that she’d successfully bested the bugs, she found lice in her other two daughters' hair. At that point, Andrea swallowed her embarrassment and asked some of her friends for suggestions for a lice treatment service.
Her friends surprised her by not judging her for her failed treatment attempts; as moms, many of them had been in that spot themselves! It turned out none of her friends had known how to not get lice or how to treat lice effectively until they’d sought professional help, and they recommended that she call LiceDoctors. Andrea was relieved to learn that LiceDoctors could make house calls, since she wanted an in-home service to optimize privacy and convenience. Later that very day, we came and took care of her family.
Hot To Not Get Lice From a Family Member?
While we were there, the patient LiceDoctors technician answered Andrea’s questions especially about how to not get lice, guiding everyone with tips on how to not get lice from a family member. Since lice are spread through hair-to-hair contact during hugs, play, and even just watching a movie on the couch together, it is difficult to prevent the spread within the family unless a case is caught very early on. In about three out of four of the families whom we treat, the child has already passed it on to the mom and/or siblings. Since super lice and especially nits are highly resistant to chemicals, often parents unwittingly leave a few tiny nits in the hair that then hatch and in a week or so the child is contagious again. Most of all, keep checking!
The fastest and most reliable way to not get lice from your child and avoid a big lice outbreak in your household is to call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537 at the first sign of lice, and a knowledgeable and experienced lice professional will be at your home soon to find and remove even the earliest or most persistent cases of lice.