Seven- day treat­ment rec­om­mended

The Compass - - EDI­TO­RIAL OPIN­ION -

It is my right, as a par­ent, to choose to keep my child at home un­til I am cer­tain that the prob­lem is prop­erly treated. I also feel that there should be a new di­rec­tive is­sued from boards, gov­ern­ment lev­els, etc. to en­sure that par­ents are aware of this. If you elect to ex­er­cise this right, you will find your child’s school and teach­ers to be quite sup­port­ive.

Your child would be ex­cused and con­sid­ered ab­sent from school for a le­git­i­mate rea­son, and home­work can be sent home at your re­quest.

Re­mov­ing nits, nymphs and/or live lice is not an easy or pleas­ant task. For the first five days of treat­ment, I per­son­ally spent no less than seven hoursa- day re­mov­ing nits. This was not based on para­noia. It was re­quired, and it took that much ef­fort to en­sure that my chil­dren’s heads were nit-free.

If you do not re­move ev­ery last nit be­fore it hatches, then a nit that hatches re­sults in a live louse that can grow and re-in­fest the head again.

Te­dious process

The process is te­dious. It in­volves re­view­ing each strand of hair, fine­tooth comb­ing small sec­tions of hair (with a nit comb), re­view­ing again un­der a bright light and man­u­ally re­mov­ing any and all nits that ex­ist.

When you are nit-pick­ing, you have lit­tle or no time for any­thing else. Par­ents who have the chal­lenge of clean­ing nits and lice need as­sis­tance.

I did not have time to cook sup­per, and take-out is less than nu­tri­tional in most in­stances. I was nit-clean­ing and wash­ing load after load of clothes each day. I was also wash­ing floors, vac­u­um­ing and do­ing other as­so­ci­ated cleanup ef­forts. Al­low your fam­ily and friends to as­sist where and how they can.

Ev­ery bed sheet, pil­low case, blan­ket, ar­ti­cle of cloth­ing, etc. that the child wears each day has to be washed and dried. The wash­ing in­volves use of hot wa­ter and a very hot dryer. This is sep­a­rate from the Day 1 bag­ging and seal­ing that you will also be re­quired to do with items that can­not be washed, such as stuffed an­i­mals, toys, pil­lows, etc.

Ev­ery­thing that can­not be washed has to be vac­u­umed, and pos­si­bly sev­eral times a day.

Mon­i­tor treat­ments

I have learned that the treat­ment(s) you use must be care­fully mon­i­tored; and there are choices.if you use a prod­uct that con­tains Per­methrin on Day 1, you should not be us­ing that same prod­uct for re­treat­ment un­til Day 7. If a se­cond prod­uct treat­ment is deemed nec­es­sary from days 2-6, it should be one that con­tains an al­ter­nate ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, such as Pyrethrin. Your phar­ma­cist should be able to as­sist you.

Some of the treat­ments state that it kills both lice and eggs. If you be­lieve this and ap­ply the prod­uct and as­sume that you have done your job, you will be dis­ap­pointed. Ac­cord­ing to the ex­perts I spoke with, there is no one prod­uct that kills the eggs. The eggs/nits need to be man­u­ally picked out one by one.

Con­tact your school

Con­tact your school ad­min­istra­tion. Your child’s name will not be re­leased without your per­mis­sion, but the re­port of head lice is one of the steps that may help to re­duce the num­ber of cases.

This as­sists by putting other teach­ers and par­ents/guardians on alert and dili­gent in head-check­ing and ex­plain­ing to chil­dren some pre­ven­tive mea­sures.

I have not even started to ad­dress the re­quire­ment of daily check­ing and pos­si­bly treat­ing other fam­ily mem­bers who ap­pear to not be in­fected.

Th­ese com­ments are based on my opin­ion and my ex­pe­ri­ences. I am not a doc­tor, nurse, phar­ma­cist or any other health pro­fes­sional, so my opin­ion is not in any way to be con­sid­ered re­flec­tive of med­i­cally-based facts or ex­pert opin­ion.

I sim­ply be­lieve my ex­pe­ri­ence may prove help­ful to oth­ers.

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