With the rise of super-lice (that’s right, we said super-lice) across the country just south of our border, it’s probably just a matter of time before we have to deal with the
— Lice Troopers (@LiceTroopers) February 15, 2016
If you’ve got kids, at some point you’re probably going to have to deal with head lice, too, because life. But don’t worry: when your time comes, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide to managing the world’s lousiest unwanted guests.
1. Do not freak out.
Lice are not dangerous and they won’t make you sick. They are definitely gross, but then again, so are children. If you can handle raising those adorable little snot monsters, you can manage a few pesky nits.
2. Don’t be all like, “Where did I go wrong?”
Do you raise your children in a giant hairball? If so, some reflection is probably in order. But otherwise know that lice don’t nitpick: they like hair, any hair.
3. Calmly take all clothes and linens used by the infected person(s) to the laundry machine.
Better yet, hit a Laundromat and do it all at once. And no, you’re not going to spread lice to other people that way.
4. If doing ALL THE LAUNDRY sounds too onerous, bag it and forget it.
Stick every blanket, towel, t-shirt and stuffie you can find into plastic bags, seal them and leave them for a week. You’ll save valuable coins and have the satisfaction of knowing you suffocated those lousy bugs.
5. Grab a glass of wine, put on a show and get picking.
Decamp to the washroom with a plastic wine tumbler (for you), a tablet loaded with your kid’s favourite books and shows (for your kid), and a fine tooth comb and pair of tweezers (for the nits). Trust us: it will be so much fun, you’ll all look forward to catching lice again. (No, you won’t.)
6. Treat the lice.
Today’s super lice aren’t scared of yesterday’s insecticides, and while regular nitpicking is the surest method to rid your family of itchy pests, it’s a lonnnnng process (think weeks). Speed things along and reduce the number of picking sessions by using a lice-busting shampoo or rinse. The stinky, burning pyrethrins and pyrethroids you may remember from your own childhood don’t work like they used to, but new research suggests tea tree oil, vinegar, hot air and even regular conditioner and water are good bets. Talk to your doctor or naturopath for advice.
7. Treat yourselves.
You’ll probably have to repeat the nitpicking process a few times, because lice are tenacious little buggers. Create a light at the end of the tunnel by spending one of your de-lousing sessions brainstorming fun rewards with your kid. Whether it’s an ice cream party, a dance-a-thon or something else, make sure to choose something that makes everyone happy, because congratulations – YOU WON.