Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We have found (against all reason) that we have an infestation of head lice at home. I don't know where my kids got it (and at this point it doesn't matter) but I've never had to deal with this before. When I was a kid I never got it, nor did anyone I know. There were never any reported cases in any of my schools.

Anyway, we've treated their heads and spent hours (upon hours upon hours) picking nits out of their hair. Bed linens have been washed multiple times, pillows and stuffed animals are put away in plastic bags, and we've sprayed the furniture and car interiors with a lice-killing spray. Oh, and we've called the parents of all the kids mine have been in contact with.

Am I missing something? How long does it take to ensure they're truly gone?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Beofett Aug 30 '11 at 12:03

Questions on Parenting Stack Exchange are expected to relate to parenting within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hello, and welcome to the site! What, specifically, are you asking? Are you looking for information on treating head lice infestations? – Beofett Aug 29 '11 at 19:31
I'm going to have to close this question, as questions asking for advice on specific medical issues are off-topic for this site. Please refer to the faq. – Beofett Aug 30 '11 at 12:03

My son has come home from daycare twice with lice (sharing it with me once, when I had hip length hair - NOT FUN).

We used a product called Hedrin - it's not an insecticide so it was safe for use on him at a year old.

Bedsheets, pillows, cases, stuffed animals - everything goes in the wash, and then in the dryer.

If you have a deep freezer, you can also bag everything and seal it, then freeze it in the freezer for 48 hours - which will kill any lice or nits present. Lice can live without a human host for 2-4 days, so keep that in mind.

We put towels down on the couch for him to lean up on, and immediately washed/froze those after he went to bed. I spent 6 hours a day combing through my hair; I gave my son a buzz cut.

I highly recommend using conditioner as a 'lube' for the nit comb - it makes pulling it through longer hair much easier and MUCH less painful - it doesn't affect the combs' ability to remove the lice/nits either.

Edit to add: you need to treat them once a week for two (or three) weeks - and comb them daily. Whatever eggs you might miss the first time around WILL hatch and the cycle repeats itself.

share|improve this answer

Treat them again in a week and you should be ok. I went overboard with my kids and treated them every week for 3 weeks. It got expensive but it was worth it! Also, make sure the stuffed animals and such stay in those plastic bags for a couple of days. Better yet, you could put them in plastic totes because they have less of a chance of letting air in than plastic bags do.

share|improve this answer