You send your kids to school. And they come home with strep throat, pink eye or... lice. It's bound to happen. We're talking about kids. They share their toys, costumes and clothing with their friends at school. But as Debbie found out, tackling lice is no problem for a mom with the right attitude and the right tools.
Nit-picky. Lousy. Going over it with a fine-toothed comb. The English language is full of words and phrases relating to lice, just as my children's hair was full of lice last year by the time we discovered them. It took us four days and lots of trial and error, but we finally got rid of the lice when we started using our secret weapon: the Assy 2000, a European lice comb lent to me by friends from Israel.
A lice comb may not seem like something to wax poetic about, but let me tell you how much I loved the Assy 2000. It had stainless steel, closely spaced tines with serrated edges that literally ripped the nits off the hair shaft. I didn't have to worry about looking for the nits (which are only about half the size of a pin head); I just stuck the Assy 2000 through every piece of hair and scraped them all out! The first time through I got out 98 percent of the nits; another pass took care of the few I missed the first time. It was like being granted a pardon after four days of torture looking for those creepy, crawly, itchy little bugs.
Last week, I was reminded of my warm fuzzy feelings for this piece of stainless steel when lice broke out in my children's classes. Even though we managed to escape this time, I longed for my own Assy 2000 as insurance against another infection. And lo, my prayers were answered. For I discovered that the Assy 2000 is now available in the United States under a new name: the Nit-Free Terminator.
I promptly bought two.
Just in case you're ever infected with lice, here's what to do: Sit outside in bright sunlight so you can see. Pull up a small section of hair, as a stylist would do if she were giving you highlights. Stick the tines of the comb through the hair, as close the scalp as possible, and pull straight up. If you are lucky enough to find some nits or even lice, just flick them into the grass and go on to the next section of hair. Being careful to keep the nit-free hair separate, move on to a new section of hair, and repeat until you've covered the whole head.
If you are having trouble catching all the lice (I once saw one crawling from a section of hair I had not checked over to the part of the head I had just checked!), I recommend covering the hair in Lice Ice, a gel dries in the hair and encases the lice in a hard shell. Lice are much easier to catch when they can't move. ;)
And that's all you have to do. Lice are not fleas, i.e., they are not very contagious. They don't like to live anywhere but on your head, and they won't move out until the population is so big there's not enough room for all of them. My daughter had lice for six weeks in a classroom of 30 kids, in the winter, sharing hats, coats, and nap mats, and not one child got lice from her. Unless everyone in your house has a head full of lice, don't waste your time washing all the sheets, towels, coats and hats, and vacuuming all the rugs, couches and floors. Just get the NIt-Free Terminator, and rip them all out!
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