Nits. The one word guaranteed to send you into a head-scratching frenzy. Even as I write this my head feels unbearably itchy just with the thought of them!

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Getting headlice is an inevitable part of being a child. They spend so much time with other kids at school, huddled together at the desk or hugging at playtime, giving those creepy crawlies the perfect breeding ground. However, even knowing that they are extremely common and pretty much unavoidable isn’t enough to stop you feeling completely mortified when your children – or you – get them.

We have recently made it through a headlice infestation. And it wasn’t pretty. Here’s the 12 stages you can look forward to if your kids are unlucky enough to play host to the persistent little blighters.

  1. Discover a whole colony of adult headlice and hundreds of eggs at the most inconvenient time. Like right before you are heading to work/on the school run. You wonder how on earth they got that bad and feel guilty for not noticing sooner.
  2. Spend a small fortune at the pharmacy for some treatment and then treat everyone in the family, just to be on the safe side. After hours of painstakingly combing through the kids hair with a metal comb and trying not to bawk at the little critters falling in the bath, you think the worst is over. It’s not.
  3. You can’t stop scratching your own head but try to convince yourself it’s just psychological. It’s not.
  4. Wash everything on a 90 degree wash. Twice.
  5. Inform the parents of kids who have played with your infected little darling that they might wish to do a head check. Their reactions tell you if these are ‘your kind of people’ or if you are forever going to be avoided at the school gates.
  6. Continue to check the kids hair every night, eventually finding more newly hatched headlice.
  7. Yet more treatment is applied, double the dose this time, followed by another hour spent picking out the tiny eggs with your finger nails.
  8. Wash everything again.
  9. You find yet more nits. And discover they have spread to siblings. Repeat steps 6-8 over and over for what feels like the rest of your life.
  10. Quietly contemplate shaving everyone’s hair off. Including your own.
  11. You are sick of washing bedding and towels everyday. Consider having a bonfire.
  12. Finally, the family have been nit free for about a week now. Consider getting some kind of plaque made in celebration.

So there is light at the end of the lice- infested tunnel. Where there is less scratching and combing and your house no longer smells of tea tree and isn’t filled with the grumbling of kids who are fed up of leaning over the bath while you inspect every millimetre of scalp.

Until the next time!

Have you had the misfortune of dealing with headlice yet? We eventually got rid of them with Full Marks treatment – what worked for you? 

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4 comments on “The 12 stages of dealing with headlice”

  1. Agh! I’ve not had to deal with them with O and I never had them as a child either – but my gosh, you just have to say nits and my skin crawls! I’ll definitely bear in mind the hot wash cycle though… I totally don’t want any little critters surprising me! x

  2. Oh yes! First time we discovered the walking (and almost talking) infestation was as my daughter was going to bed and saying goodnight to granny and grandad who had arrived that afternoon and were now enjoying a relaxing supper. Cue me spending TWO HOURS combing a distraught child’s hair after dashing to our neighbours for a comb and some lotion. She hates having her hair brushed at the best of times anyway. I finally finished about 9.30pm, she was barely awake and I had completely neglected the guests! Oh and the nits came back!!!! #TheList

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