FROM READERS: A mom's tips on how to deal with your child's head lice

Saturday, February 9, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST

Kate Canterbury is a Columbia mother who is strongly considering going into the professional nit-picking profession. Read about her latest adventure with lice on her blog "The Guavalicious Life."

So your kid has lice. First take a deep breath. Then quickly cancel all of your plans for the next twenty-four hours. Your home is now lice central and no one can leave until it has been eradicated. 


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Now follow these five steps:
  1. Stop at the store before picking up your kid and get the following...a fresh pack of hair bands, a fresh pack of bobby pins, lice shampoo, lice gel, a fine toothed lice comb (preferably the Terminator comb, in fact order that off of Amazon right now just in case).
  2. Pick your kid up, undress them in the garage and put everything they are wearing in a sealed plastic bag (put their backpack, coat, and lunchbox in there too). Proceed immediately to the bathroom and follow the instructions on the lice shampoo (you will want to give them something to do while they sit in the bathroom so they won't be tempted to leave and infect the household.)
  3. While they are in the bathroom, strip all bedding, clothing, and soft/stuffed items from their room. Wash everything on hot, then dry on high. Unwashable items go into a sealed plastic bag for a week or put in the freezer. All hats, scarves, and hair items (including combs and hairbrushes get the same treatment as do car seat covers.) Vacuum.
  4. Rinse your kid's head in an empty bathtub, then wash their hair and divide into at least twenty sections. Sit down and blow dry each section on high. As you pull out the bobby pin/hair band dispose of them in a plastic bag. Once hair is completely dry, apply lice gel and let it dry while you get your trusty lice comb and a bowl of water. Divide hair into sections and comb through each section, dipping the comb in the bowl of water after each comb. When done, pour water in toilet and flush away. Immediately clean bowl with soap and water and boil lice comb before placing it in yet another plastic bag.
  5. Blow dry your kid's head then grab a drink, snack, and a movie and settle in for several hours of nit-picking your kids head. When you find a nit, isolate the hair and cut it off right above the nit, put in plastic bag. Then boil the scissors when you're done.

For the next seven days, nitpick every day and wash bedding every night. Then repeat steps 2-5 again on day seven. Do this for everyone in the household with hair. Congratulations! Your kid is lice free. Until they get reinfected at school.

Do you have parenting tips, perspectives or war stories to share? Send them to This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.

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