Natural Lice Treatment

For parents worried about commerical lice killers, here is a natural pesticide-free treatment for lice using olive oil soaks.

Lice: the very word horrifies parents. Many lice myths exist and create shame for kids and parents alike. The truth is that lice actually prefer clean heads over dirty, so lice is not a sign of poor hygiene. Also, like many insects, lice seem to be building up a tolerance to some of the chemicals used to kill them. So while it seems to be easier to get lice in our crowded classroom conditions, it also seems to be tougher to get rid of them. Plus, lice killing pesticides have begun to be scrutinized by parents - how safe are they? Do you really want to be dousing your young child with pesticides, especially since most lice infestations seem to require treatment again and again?

Actually you can rid your child completely of lice without commercial lice killers - in fact, without pesticides at all. All you need is a big bottle of olive oil, a bottle of Dawn dish soap and a nit comb.

First, dress your child in old clothes as olive oil can leave oil stains. Tuck a paper towel collar around your child's neck to catch drips. Sit your child in a high seat (perhaps using phone books or plastic covered cushions to raise seat height) over the sink. Then, slowly saturate hair with oil working on one small section at a time. The scalp must be very oily.

Then, leave the oil on the hair for about 30 minutes. The oil covers the lice and eggs, preventing them from breathing. Unlike pesticides, suffocation does not seem to be something lice can build up immunity against! If you are working with long hair, you may want to put it up in a clip during the wait time.

After 30 minutes, comb hair with a regular plastic comb. If you are working with long hair, section it and put the sections up with clips. Then, with a metal nit comb, (found in most drugstores) comb through the hair in one-inch sections. Rinse your comb often in very hot soapy water. Watch for lice trying to escape the oil by coming to the surface or hanging out around the hairline.

After combing completely with the nit comb, wash hair in Dawn dishwashing liquid to cut the grease. Rinse hair and then wash with regular shampoo and follow with conditioner. Repeat the oiling every other day for two weeks. You will not need to use the nit comb during these subsequent oilings.

At the end of two weeks, repeat the first olive oil process, complete with the nit comb. If no live lice are found during this comb out, you can consider your problem cured. You will need to eliminate any possible infestation of pillows, bedding or soft toys also. Lice cannot live away from a host for more than 48 hours, so toys can be treated by placing in a large plastic bag and secured tightly for two days. Also, lice can be killed in pillows or bedding by washing in hot water and drying in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.

Check children weekly for possible re-infestation from contact in school. Early detection makes lice killing much easier. Teach you child not to share hairbrushes, combs and hair decorations or hats"┬Žbut if lice do happen, don't panic, just get oily.

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